Tostones and Mofongo recipe: gluten free fun with plantains

I went out for dinner and drinks with my coworkers last Friday night at Bar + Bistro, one of my favorite tapas restaurants in Vegas. My favorite tapas were the tostones- little sandwiches made on fried plantains instead of bread!

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These were SO delicious!! I couldn’t wait to recreate them at home. I’ve never used plantains before, so I did some research first.

-tostones are a dish that comes from Puerto Rico. They are eaten as a side dish in place of rice, pasta, or bread.

-plantains are starchier and less sweet than bananas, so they can be eaten savory or sweet. They also have more potassium than bananas!

Tostones are quick and easy to make. I found plantains at Whole Foods for $1 per pound. You can get an even better deal at Hispanic supermarkets. Pick a plantain that is green. I didn’t know any better, so I got a yellow one with some dark spots. It was still good, but a little on the sweeter side.

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Ingredients:
-1 plantain, large
-2-3 tbs grapeseed, coconut, or canola oil
-salt to taste

1. Cut the plantain into 1.5 inch slices. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.

2. Fry the plantain slices until golden on all sides, but not burnt. Adjust the flame as necessary.

3. Stand the plantain slices on a paper towel and gently flatten each one with the bottom of a plate or mug until they are about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.

4. Return the plantain patties to the skillet and fry until golden on both sides. Return to paper towel to remove excess oil. Season with salt to taste.

I served my tostones with leftover slices of African roasted pork and mint sauce. They would be really good with roast beef, carnitas, or turkey breast as well!

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My tostones were not as crispy as the restaurant version because I used less oil, but they were still very tasty!

For a different variation called mofongo, simply mash the fried plantains with a bit of garlic at the end. This is a very tasty alternative to mashed potatoes!

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