Recently, I had the most difficult final during my time at Le Cordon Bleu in which I had to make an amuse bouche, appetizer, and entree. So I went with a Peruvian-inspired dish: citrus-marinated grilled chicken with a side of cilantro rice and tostones, or twice-fried green plantains. I figured, who else in class would bother breaking down and marinating a chicken within our limited time frame? Fortunately, it was a success: the chicken was super juicy and bright, complemented well by the savory but not-too-strong rice, and crunchy fried goodness of the plantains. The tostones recipe, adapted from Aunt Clara's Kitchen is here for your cooking pleasure:
Serves: 4 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 6 minutes
Ingredients 2 green, or unripe plantains 1 cup vegetable or canola oil Salt
1. In a pot, heat oil to 350 degrees. Either use a thermomenter, or test the heat by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If the oil starts steadily bubbling, it's hot enough.
2. Peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch slices. Fry until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain. (Leave the oil on heat!)
3. When the plantains are just cool enough to handle, about 2-3 minutes, flatten them into discs. Ordinarily, you'd smash them using a tostonera, but you can just use the bottom of a metal or heavy bowl.
4. Fry them again, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. (You'll know it's the right color when you start salivating.) Remove and drain. Salt immediately and serve.
My Notes: Watch the oil heat! The most important thing here is making sure your oil is hot enough but not too hot. And of course, don't overcook the plantains!