Presented by My House NOLA
Tostones are fried plantain slices that are popular side dishes, eaten much like potato chips or French fries, in many Latin American cuisines. They are frequently served with mojo, a garlic sauce; pikiiz, a mix of hot pickled peppers; and aji, a tomato-based sauce, doctored-up with cilantro, aji pepper, and onions. Because tostones require only two ingredients, the recipe is both an accessible and approachable one.
Congreso Cubano a new Cuban and Latino-influenced pop-up recently sat down with My House NOLA and NolaVie, discussing the inspiration, recipes, and approach behind their venture. Orly Vega, founder of Congreso Cubano and host extraordinaire, not only shared his Grandmother’s authentic Cuban tostones but also pulled out the deep fryer and gave us a cooking demo.
In case you missed our Congreso Cubano feature, you can read it here.
Congreso Cubano’s Tasty Tostones
– Take a an underripe, green plantain (available at Ideal Supermarket and the Hong Kong Market)
– Peel plantain, then cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds
– Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat until it reaches a light boil
– Immerse the raw plantains in oil, sauté over medium heat until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes)
– Remove plantains from heat. Drain and cool for 5 minutes on paper towels
– Using plantain smasher (any hard, round object — for instance, the bottom of an empty beer bottle — will work if you don’t have a plantain smasher) lightly dusted with flour and flatten plantains into 1/2 inch thick discs. (It’s okay if the tops lightly crack.)
– Increase heat to medium-high to high
– Refry discs until dark golden brown (3-5) minutes
– Garnish with lime and salt, aioli, or Vega’s favorite spice combinations: olive oil, cilantro, and garlic, muddled together in a mortar and pestle; or sugar for a salty-sweet flavor profile.