Tostones con Mojo
- For the Mojo:
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 3 to 6 cilantro sprigs, leaves chopped
- 2 to 3 culantro leaves, trimmed and chopped (optional - see note)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- For the Tostones:
- 3 green plantains
- Vegetable oil
FOR THE MOJO:
Put garlic and a generous pinch of salt into a mortar. Crush to a rough paste with the pestle, then add cilantro and culantro (if using) and crush until bruised and fragrant. Add oil while grinding in a circular motion. Adjust seasoning. Set aside.
FOR THE TOSTONES:
To remove tough green skin from plantains, trim off both ends with a sharp knife, then make a few slits through skin the length of each plantain. Push your thumb between skin and flesh; pry skin away from flesh. It will come off in pieces, like bark from a tree. Trim off any woody fiber stuck to plantains. Cut plantains into 1 inch-thick rounds.
Pour oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of 1 inch, then heat to 325 degrees F on a candy thermometer over medium heat. Fry plantains in two batches until lightly golden and hollow sounding when tapped, about 3 minutes. Transfer plantains with a slotted spatula to paper towels to drain. Working quickly, press warm tostones with the clean bottom of a small pan or a flat pot lid, flattening them to about half their original thickness.
Return flattened tostones to oil and fry in batches until crisp around edges and deeply golden, about 2 minutes more. Transfer tostones to paper towels to drain and season to taste with salt while still hot. Serve tostones hot with mojo as a dipping sauce.
NOTE: Culantro, grows in southern Mexico in the coastal areas. The leaf is quite tough so it is not eaten raw but added to soups and stews. Overcooking will destroy most of the flavor.
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Recipe reprinted by permission of World Publication, LLC. All rights reserved.
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