Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tostones, Patacones: It's All Plantain Good!
Awhile back we enjoyed some delicious Colombian food in downtown Durham at Guajillo's Mexican Grill. I was inspired to try my own hand at making patacones, or tostones. There are many regional terms for a twice-fried plantain patty, much like the various names for subs, hoagies, grinders, etc.
How the plantains are cooked into patties is fairly universal. They are cut into slices then allowed to soak in water that has a bit of minced garlic added. The slices are briefly fried in some hot oil until they are golden. The slices are allowed to cool for a few minutes before being smooshed into patties. (There is a wonderful gizmo called a tostonera that flattens the slice to the perfect thickness. I will need to get one!) Once the patty is made it is put back into the hot oil and fried until crisp and browned.
The toppings vary according to region, but it seems standard to use refried beans, meat, maybe veggies, then cheese. All is popped underneath a broiler to melt the cheese. I made mine inspired by a Colombian recipe, adapting it to suit some preferences. I used seasoned chicken, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, onions & garlic, and topped with pepperjack cheese. Just a few them are all it takes to make a very satisfying, tasty meal!
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