How-2 Guide on the making of Platanos. People in countries outside of Colombia call them tostones and I am not sure what else! They are nothing like what you buy in bags at the store in the "Goya" section. Those hard plantain chips are scary, I almost broke a tooth on one! Real homemade platanos are a bit crispy on the outside and moist on the inside and should be eaten hot out of the oil, well salted. I suggest also poking a few holes with a fork and slathering it with butter (yum). Go to the bottom of this post to learn about a neat tool, the E-Z Peeler, that will make you a plantain-peeling pro.
I am producing this series into a How-2 guide for purchase as well, stay tuned!
Heavy pot, for frying.
Heavy pan or board covered with foil or plastic and well-oiled.
As many large platanos "pintones" as you desire (these are green plantains that are starting to show a faint yellowing, but not much, along the ridges). If in doubt, use large all-green platanos.
Heat oil in the heavy pan.
With a sharp knife, cut off the two ends of the platano. Then score down vertically along one of the ridges, start peeling aside by flicking the knife edge under the peel along the cut edge.
Note: This works really well if the platano has NOT been refrigerated.
After you have peeled the platano, cut it into 2 inch pieces.
Place the pieces in the medium/hot oil and continuously turn until they have turned a golden color.
Remove the pieces from the oil to drain on a paper towel. Let these pieces "rest" for at least 15 minutes.
Using a sturdy well oiled plate, smash the pieces flat.
Return the flattened "patacones" to the hot oil for another 5 minutes until lightly browned, then remove to a paper towel.
Salt to taste.
Serve immediately, or they will get tough.
Start with green plantains.
A sharp knife is run along the length of a green plantain.
Green plantain is stripped of it's skin. Be careful about not loosing the flesh of the plantain as you wrestle with it. See bottom of this post for information on a handy tool that will help you with this step, its like a dream!
This photo summarizes the process from unpeeled plantain to the chunks you should cut.
Fry these little beauties to a golden brown. Notice that I use my dutch oven with a heavy bottom. You do NOT want to use a cheap pot for frying anything. You need to distribute the heat evenly.
Cut up portions of platain are deep fried to a golden color. These need to rest something like 15 minutes before crushing.
Cover a heavy pan (this one is cast iron) with foil. To be used to crush the fried plantains chunks.
The fried plantain chunk is crushed with the foiled pan. Some crushed ones are seen to the right.
The patacone has been crushed flat and is peeled gentle off the bottom of the pan. This will be fried after a short rest.
Fry them to a golden color, enjoy!
This photo shows the progression from chunk to crushed and fried.
Get the E-Z Peeler so that you can peel platanos better than my grandma and have platanos on your plate even faster!
I do not know the people who invented this awesome tool (I hope to get to know them) but I admire Edwin Rodriguez's ability to commercialize this tool with nothing but commitment and sweat (and love of platanos). They were written about in the New York Times (link) and their site is at this link.
Visit, buy (support immigrant inventors dammit :-), use, let me know how it goes!
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Colombia, Fritanga, fried, recipe, receta, photograph, photography, Colombian, plantain, platano