Friday, March 28, 2014

Comfort Food - Patacones (Plantain Chips)

I'm trying to introduce food that I enjoyed when I was a child, to my daughter.  Ever since she started school, and has been exposed to what other kids eat, it has been all about mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.  There's nothing wrong with those foods, I would just like my daughter to be able to appreciate and enjoy a variety of food.

When I was a child growing up in the Panama Canal Zone, plantain was served with practically every meal.  My mom mostly made the sweet version, which is fried ripe plantains.  She very rarely made patacones, which are the salty version.  So it was a special treat for us.  (In some countries they are also known as tostones).

Well, I haven't convinced my daughter to eat the sweet version yet, which is weird because she loves sweets.  But she does like the salty Patacones, otherwise known as Plantain Chips.  These are best eaten immediately after they are cooked when they are still hot.

You will need one or two green plantains.  They look like bananas but are bigger and can not be eaten raw.  Make a lengthwise cut on one of the angles of the plantain just deep enough to cut through the skin without touching the flesh of the plantain.  Then use the knife to raise the skin and peel it off.

Then cut the plantains into thick slices, using either straight cuts or slightly diagonal cuts.

I cover the bottom of a pan with canola oil and fry the plantain slices for 1-2 minutes per slice.  But you can put more oil to cover the whole slice and deep fry them so you don't have to flip them.  I just can't bring myself to put that much oil in a pan.  I know that makes no sense :)

Remove the plantain slices from the frying pan and smash them with the bottom of a glass to flatten them.  Be careful not to smash too much or they will break apart.

Put them right back into the frying pan and heat them until golden on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.  Take them out and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.  Salt to taste.

1 comment:

  1. Yum!! I had no idea what to do with plantains, but now I'll have to buy a few :)