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Tostones, or maybe patacones

by Alex on Apr.30, 2009, under Blog

I first had tostones in Colombia, I think. But they were called patacones. They are, I guess, the nutritional equivalent of chips/fries and I suppose not so different taste-wise. I knew they were simply fried plantain but until last night I had no idea of exactly how they were made. If you’re a lover of both chips and diversification then read on to discover how to conjour up an alternative to the west’s most beloved deep-fried staple.

Some tostones, yesterday

1/ Cut your plantains into one and a half inch/four centimetre lengths (mum, there is no need to use a rule, it’s just a guideline)
2/ Deep fry plantain bits for about five minutes
3/ Remove plantains from oil with a slotted spoon. Or an asbestos gauntlet – look I don’t really care, stop going on about it, just take them out of the oil
4/ Find a minging old towel that you know has not been washed for ages. I mean really munting, all covered in stuff and it’s been used to mop up spills of everything from milk to urine. The kind of towel that you probably don’t even have in your house, the closest you have to what you need is probably in the shed or garage, all covered in oil and sawdust and that and even if you have one you’re going to have to piss on it to make it suitable for our current purposes
5/ Take each piece of plantain and stand it end up on the towel. Use another part of the towel to squash the plaintain flat (see pic above) then re-introduce the flattened plantain to the frying oil
6/ Fry the plantain again. Ensure that you fry the tostones long enough to kill AIDS, hepatitis A-F, cholera, amoebic dysentery, this pig flu malarky that’s new out and I’m a little wary of as clearly the kind of places I’m staying are full of people who’ve traveled from all over Central America and so the chances of some of them having come into contact with someone carrying the virus are not that low
7/ Remove from the pan. If you used a slotted spoon for the first removal, why not try the gauntlet this time (and vice versa), you know, mix it up a bit like
8/ Drain and serve

Note – Steps 1-3 and 5-8 are essential. I’m not sure as to whether step 4 is necessary to make authentic tostones, I’m just relating the way I saw them made…

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4 Comments for this entry

  • Rich

    Alex, I think you've nicked this from the latest Jamie "Mockney Twat" Oliver cookbook. But you make them sound so appealing. I might have a trawl around my garage for an oily rag and give them a go soon.

    • afowen

      Actually, I taught him everything he knows…

      Right, this woman is currently sweeping the little garden area in front of where I'm sat – she's actually sweeping the soil – that' just weird!

      Scrotty rags aside, tostones are really tasty, give 'em a go man.

  • Lou

    Alex, I am sat eating my morning toast and jam literally weeping with laughter at this recipe. Weirdly, despite every effort you have made to infer that deathly diseases await you with every tostone bite, they still sound delicious. I expect a platter's worth on your eventual return.

    • afowen

      Glad to be of humourial aid – a good way to start the day. Yeh, they are good and I suppose that it doesn't matter what diseases they may contain so long as you fry them for long enough. It is though a little off-putting seeing one's dinner prepared with an AIDS cloth! Defo keen to sort out a tostone session when I get back.

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