Banan Peze (Crisp Fried Plantains)
Salt water is the key to making these golden, starchy disks crisp and salty. Smashed and fried plantains are a popular staple around the Caribbean, where they are called tostones, patacones or, in Haiti, where this recipe comes from, banan peze.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ½cup vegetable oil
- 2medium-size green (unripe) plantains, peeled
- 1tablespoon fine salt
Step 1Slice the plantains crosswise into thick slices, about 1 1/4 inches. (You should get about 5 slices per plantain.)
Step 2In a bowl large enough to hold the plantains, combine the salt with 1/2 cup water and stir until dissolved. Add plantains and set aside to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 3In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Step 4Working in batches to avoid crowding, add plantain slices to skillet. (Keep the salt water used for soaking). When all the slices are in, sprinkle in about 2 teaspoons of the salt water. (It may splatter; keep a lid or splatter screen handy.)
Step 5Cook plantains about 5 minutes, turning once, until golden on both sides and just turning brown at the edges. As they brown, transfer them to paper towels to drain.
Step 6On a chopping board, using a broad solid spatula or a tostonera (plantain smasher), press down on each slice to flatten it into a flat round, about 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches wide.
Step 7Reheat the oil over medium heat. Dip flattened plantains in the salt water and fry the rounds again for about 1 minute on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
Step 8Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.