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Today's recipe is Tostones, a treat Aimee fell in love with in both Sarasota, Florida and Miami!  My precious "adopted" Cuban family in Florida taught me how to make tostones. These are fantastic treats for an appetizer or a side dish.
 

AIMEE'S TOSTONES

  • 3 Green Plantains (I asked the produce manager at Publix if they could order plantains, and he said of course! So ask at your store!)
  • Vegetable oil (enough to fill your skillet about one third full)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Paper bags
  • Paper towels

You can soak the plantains in a large bowl with warm, salted water to make skin removal easier.  With a sharp knife, cut the ends off of the plantain, then use the knife to cut down the peel of the plantain.  Pull apart the peel, and remove the peel with your hands.  Cut the plantain into two inch slices.  Add the oil about one third of the way full in the skillet over medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, fry the plantains for about four minutes, turning over one time, just until they are soft. Remove from heat, and place on a paper bag, or several paper towels.  Smash with the bottom of a glass, your fist, a bowl or a saucepan.  Allow the oil to reheat, this time even hotter than before (about 375 degrees) and fry again, until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately with hot sauce.  I would often see my Cuban friends take one hand in a fist, and “smash” that hand on a flat hand.  This is what you do when preparing tostones.  You “flatten” it out, and fry again; the second time, about four to six minutes.