Tostones are fried green plantains. Its probably the most popular side dish in Puerto Rican cuisine. It's also popular in Dominican and Cuban cooking. In our family we have tostones frequently, which reflects our cultural norm. Go to any Caribbean restaurant, and tostones will be on the menu.This is not the first time we've featured fried green plantains on this blog. It was one of the first recipes we noted when I began this journey (see post of 9/9/10).
For tostones, you need green (not ripe plantains). Yes, ripe plantains can also be prepared, but that's another story. Green plantains (platanos) can be found in most supermarkets these days, If not, any Caribbean or Asian market will usually carry them. This time around I've paired tostones with another favorite, broiled lamb chops. A light red wine, like a Gamay, Bardolino or Beaujolais, will complement the meat very well. If not, then a good robust beer or ale will will do (not that light beer stuff that taste like water).
TOSTONES WITH BROILED LAMB CHOPS
3 green plantains
4 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
Vegetable oil for frying
4 lamb chops, about 1-inch thick
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Remove skin from the plantains. This is done by cutting tips at both ends; then cut a slit along the length of the plantain and peel off. To facilitate easier handling, some cooks dip plantains in hot water and then remove the skin. Once plantains are peeled, cut into diagonal slices about 1-inch thick. Reserve peels: typically, the unbroken skin of the plantain is used for flattening the tostones.
2. Combine water and salt in a bowl and soak plantain slices for 30 minutes. Drain well.
3. While plantains are soaking, in a bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and turmeric. Add the lamb chops and marinate for at least 1 hour. Or you can place the lamb chops in a large zip-lock bag, add the ingredients, and marinate that way in the fridge.
4. Broil the lamb chops in a very hot preheated broiler. Brown on both sides, cooking a total of 10 minutes for rare, 15 for medium, 20 minutes for well done.
5. While lamb chops are broiling, fill a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet halfway with vegetable oil. Heat oil until very hot (373 degrees F.). Deep fry plantains for 5 to 6 minutes over medium heat until golden yellow.
6. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
7. Place a plantain slice between two plantain peels, envelope fashion, and pound flat with the palm of the hand. Repeat until all slices are pressed. Return plantain slices to skillet and cook until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes longer). Drain on absorbent paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Three plantains will render about 12-15 tostones.
8. Transfer lamb chops to a warm platter, and place a pat of butter on each chop. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley. Serve with tostones.
Yield: 4 servings.