Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)

Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)
(Serves 4-6 but can be easily multiplied or divided) – Vegan / Gluten-Free / Soy-Free
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Tostones are a classic Latin dish and they are so simple to make. They are twice fried plantains and can be served as a side item or as an appetizer/snack. I enjoy these straight up with salt/garlic powder but the kids enjoy them with ketchup similar to french fries. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
Although my mother may not realize, I was a bit of a sponge growing up and have many fond memories of our food, culture and traditions. I learned a tremendous amount from her and now enjoy making and veganizing a lot of my favorite childhood dishes.

Ingredients:

4 Green Plantains (depends on serving size)
Oil for Frying – Canola/Vegetable
6-8 Cups of warm water (does not have to be an exact measurement), divided
1-2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2-4 Tsp Salt, divided
(Garlic Powder/Salt do not have to be an exact measurement in this recipe, they are used to sprinkle/toss after frying).

Directions:
-Peel plantains: cut off ends and then cut a slit lengthwise down the plantain and remove the skin.
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– Heat Oil over medium heat so its ready when it’s fry time. Oil should be about an inch from the bottom – it should come up about halfway up the plantains when they are added.
-Fill a bowl with about 4 cups of warm salted water.
-Cut into 1-inch pieces. -Add the cut pieces to the water as you go until all the plantains have been cut. This prevents oxidation while you continue to prepare. Note: Water measurement does not have to be exact it should be enough to cover.
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-Drain water and dry pieces completely before frying.
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-Fry plantains about 6 minutes total – about 3 minutes on each side, flipping halfway.
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-Remove plantains and drain on a paper towel.
-Press plantain pieces.
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You can use a tostonera (plantain press – pictured above) or mom’s tried and true way of a simple brown paper bag. Just rip off a large piece and press by hand – the bag will also absorb excess oil. Set aside once they are all flattened.
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-Re-fill bowl with warm water. Quickly dip each piece into water before dropping back in oil for 2nd fry. (Do not let them sit or soak in the water in this step, as they will get soggy). Just a quick dip before frying again will make them crispier.
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-Fry for another 1-2 minutes on each side until they are crispy and golden.
-Remove from oil, drain and sprinkle/toss in salt and garlic powder immediately. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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