Friday, March 11, 2011

Patacones (Fried Plantain Rounds)

Patacones are very popular among all the Colombian territory and in several Caribbean countries, where they are called Tostones "Crunchies". They are served normally with the typical Sancocho de Gallina or a chip dip or entree topped with shrimp. They are also delicious as a snack served with aji or any other dipping sauce.

Ingredients for 10 Patacones

2  big green plantains
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic mashed (optional)
Vegetable oil to deep fry ( about 3 cups)

Cut the tips off the plantain and discard. Hold the plantain firmly. Using the tip of the knife, slit the peel along the length of the plantain. Only cut as deep as the peel is thick. Remove the plantain peel with your fingers, it will come off in sections. Remove with the knife any peel remnant left on the flesh. If your plantains were stored in the refrigerator, bring them to room temperature. Cold plantains will be twice as hard to peel.

In a medium heavy pot or fryer heat the oil to 325 F.

On a cutting board, cut the plantains into 2 1/2 inches chunks. Fry the plantains pieces a few at a time for about 6 minutes. They must be light golden and soft in the inside when you insert a fork. Set aside to cool for 3 minutes.

In a bowl mix 1 cup water, with the salt and mashed garlic.

On the work surface place a plastic sheet and put the pieces of fried plantain one at a time. Cover with another piece of plastic and using a pot lid or wood cutting board, press firmly until the become very thin and even. About 1/4 inch.

Increase the oil temperature to 375 F. Dip the flatten rounds in the salty (garlic) water for a couple of seconds and fry again for 2 or 3 minutes until crisp and golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain over paper towel. Serve hot.