To the naked eye, tostones are one of those recipes that seem easy to make, and for the most part they are. But they’re also not. You could technically just take green plantains and mash them into flattened discs, but the key to truly magical tostones is soaking them in water. And for the people who do soak, their methods vary; some soak the plátanos in the beginning, some in the middle, and some at the end. If you don’t want to make the dipping sauce, just use mayoketchup.
2 cups water, at room temperature
1 Tbsp Adobo
2 large plátanos, peeled
canola oil for frying
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, combine the water and adobo and season with salt. Mix until the adobo and salt dissolve. Set aside. Slice the plátanos into 1-inch-thick chunks.
Line a plate with paper towels and set near the stove. Fill a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 2 inches of canola oil and place over medium-high heat. You want enough oil to slightly cover the plátanos. Heat the oil until it registers 350°F on an instant-read thermometer. (Add a tiny piece of plátano; if the oil sizzles, it’s ready for frying.)
In batches, add the plátano chunks to the oil and fry for 1 to 3 minutes on one side, or until golden brown and softened. Flip them and fry for 1 to 3 minutes more, or until softened. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the plátanos to the prepared plate to drain. Either turn down the heat or remove the pan from the heat.
Line a tostonera with two pieces of parchment paper. Transfer the fried plátano to the tostonera (one parchment piece should be on the bottom of the plátano and the other piece of parchment on top) and mash to the desired thickness. If you don’t have a tostonera, place the plátano chunks between two pieces of parchment paper on a work surface and mash them with the bottom of a drinking glass, cast-iron skillet, plate, or baking sheet. Slide them into the adobo-seasoned water and let soak for 2 to 3 minutes.
Place a wire cooling rack in a baking sheet and set near the stove. Remove the tostones from the water, pat dry with a paper towel, and return them to the frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes on one side, flip, and fry for 1 to 3 minutes more, or until crispy and brown. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the tostones to the prepared rack. Taste and season with salt if needed.
To make the dipping sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice; season with salt; and blitz until smooth. Add the parsley and blitz until it is incorporated.
Serve the tostones with the sauce spooned over or for dipping.
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