Tostones are twice-fried plantain slices.  Plantains are related to a banana, but they are not sweet until they are very over ripe.  They are a Puerto Rican staple and can be prepared many ways.  This is one of my favorites.  My mother-in-law taught me how to make them.  This is a savory recipe.

Step 1
Slice three green plantains.
Plantains don’t peel as easily as bananas; they like to hold on to their skin.  You have to score the skin down the side of the plantain and pry it loose with your fingers.  It helps to slice the top and bottom edges off first.

Step 2

Slice the plantains at a diagonal in about half inch slices.  This gives them plenty of surface area to fry and keeps them from being too thick.

Step 3
Fry the plantains in hot oil.  I don’t have an oil thermometer…I use the wooden spoon trick.  Place the tip of a wooden spoon in the hot oil, if you see bubbles, it’s hot enough. I know that’s not very scientific.  If you have a thermometer, I suggest heating the oil to 300 degrees F.  Fry the plantains for a few minutes until they are lightly brown and barely crispy.  Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with all slices.

Turn the oil up to 375 F to prep for the second frying.

Step 4
Place the plantain piece inside a folded brown bag and press down firmly.  The plantain should flatten and increase in size. You can also use a mallet to flatten the plantain, but that’s not as much fun.

Once all the plantains are flattened, fry them a second time for 3-4 minutes, flipping occasionally. They will be very crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels and salt to your liking.

Step 5
Serve the tostones with a dipping sauce made of ketchup, Tabasco, and lemon juice or mayonnaise, Tabasco, lemon juice and a squeeze of ketchup.

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