I started cooking with green plantains about four years ago. And now I consider myself a Tosto-Chick, an expert on the fruit treated like a vegetable but never eaten raw. What? No wonder it is so misunderstood, not to mention neglected. Up until recently, there was no functional kitchenware helping with this type of Latin cooking.
There are many ways to prepare green plantains. Today's Instructable will concentrate on tostones rellenos or green plantain cups. The rage from CA to NY and FL, tostones rellenos are a quiet secret even among Latin homes who love their green plantains, but prepare the more traditional tostones or green plantain chips. Remember this: whether chips or cups, the cooking process is the same. The difference is the cut of the plantain.
HERE IS WHAT FOLLOWS IN THE COMING 12 STEPS:
BEFORE YOU CAN PLANTAIN, YOU MUST PEEL
Don't let the peeling process (a daunting step, I won't kid you) keep you from trying any green plantain recipe. Peeling, that's Step #3 . I've included a video. Short and to the peel.
OK, YOU PEELED. NOW WHAT?
There's slicing the plantain. - STEP # 2 & STEP #5
Frying the plantain. - STEPS # 8
Molding the plantain. - STEP # 10
Frying the second and last time. STEP # 11
And then the most fun part: THE TOPPING. Choices, choices -- sweet or go savory. Anything goes with the green plantain cups. Think of it as a platform, much like a pizza crust.
SO, WHAT DO YOU NEED?
1) green plantains, about four
2) knife, timer, and
3) a good eye -- the plantains have to be cut in 1 1/2 inch slices.
4) large bowl with 3 cups of warm water and 4
tablespoons of garlic salt
6) Deep Fryer or Skillet
7) Popcorn Salt
Remember cooking outside our comfort zones can be a little scary. I know it was for me. But don't let that hold you back. Green plantains are not expensive :-) so feel free to not get it quite right the first, second or third time -- it's OK. . . there are no mistakes in cooking!
Actually, before going through the cooking steps, take some time to learn the peeling process.
During that time, shop for a tostonera (that's the gadget that molds the green plantains). Later, I will let you know what I use. Without a functioning tostonera, there is no way I would be able to cook tostones rellenos as much as I do!
Oh, if your supermarket doesn't carry green plantains, ask for them. Sometimes, the department managers are too busy to see what's going on outside their store, culinary wise.
I'm sure they will be happy to help, if asked.
I've also included three video:
1) How to peel.
2) How to slice.
3) And finally, the smashing :-)
Oh, and I'll have tips along the way.
Step 1: Green Plantains 101
These are green plantains.