Photo by Anthony Quintano
This is our spicy take on a classic Caribbean/Latin American appetizer, featured in March’s Culinarie Kit. It’s garlicky to the max, and salty enough to cure a hangover. These fried and smashed plantain bites will make you wonder why you haven’t been eating them at every meal. Bonus: the few ingredients are dirt cheap, so you can make (and eat!) a ton of them.
5 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Spice Blend #665
Warm oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. In the meantime, roughly mince the garlic and add to pan. Allow garlic to simmer in oil for 10-15 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. There should be very little movement in the oil; lower the heat if it is boiling.
When garlic is cooked, use a mesh strainer or fork to remove all garlic and reserve for later. Add Spice Blend #665 to the oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
Slice plantains into 1/2″ rounds and carefully place into the hot oil. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, then flip each slice and fry another 2-3 minutes. Remove the plantains with a slotted spoon and arrange in a single layer on a paper towel.
Gently smash the rounds with a large, flat surface like a cutting board. You can also use a rolling pin or the bottom of a coffee mug in a pinch, but be cautious about splattering hot oil (it’s okay to let them cool for a bit if you’re nervous).
Return the smashed tostones to the pan and fry until both sides are browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Place cooked tostones in a large bowl and add reserved garlic and salt. Toss to distribute, serve immediately.
You can control the amount of spice by increasing or reducing the amount of Spice Blend #665. If you’ve run out of it, simply use another hot ground chile pepper like cayenne or chipotle powder as a substitute (or order more on our website–it’ll be available soon).
If you have a deep frier, these can be made in 1/2 the time, just sauté the garlic with Spice Blend #665 separately.