Plantains: 4 Ways (Plantain Chips, Plantain Coins, Plantain Fries and Tostones)

 Plantains 4 Ways

It should be pretty evident by now that our family has a serious love affair with plantains. We use them as savory sides and in baking as sweet treats (see here, here, and here.) And why not? They are inexpensive, delicious, easy to prepare and a great, simple starch. I think we go through at least 20 green plantains a week. I will hold out on going to the grocery store when we are out of many things, but once we run out of plantains a trip to the produce store or Publix (both places sell them 5 for $1) is necessary.

Jonathan eating with a tostone bun

I thought it would be good to share four of our favorite ways to eat savory green plantains in one handy-dandy post. (We may watch a little too much Blue’s Clues in our house!) We often keep the plantain chips around as a quick, on-the-go snack, and use tostones as everything from a side, to hamburger “buns” or as the base of some delicious pork carnitas tostadas. The plantain fries are especially great for dipping in guacamole, and the coins can be whipped up in just a few minutes for lunch on those busy days when I actually make it to the gym.

 Plantains are usually pretty easy to peel once you get the trick of it, especially if they are at room temperature. There are tons of good videos that demonstrate how to peel them fairly easily. (And if it is a stubborn peel, there is nothing wrong with using a knife to peel it like you would a sweet potato.) I usually store my plantains in the fridge to keep them from ripening. I just take them out of the fridge about an hour before I want to use them.

With the exception of the plantain chips, which I use a deep fryer and mandoline for, all of these recipes use equipment you should have readily available to you.

Plantain Chips
Plantain chips are one of my secret weapons. We use them as on-the-go snacks, potluck offerings, easy sides, and even as chips to scoop up taco meat. They can be made ahead and will keep well in an air tight container for a few days (if they last that long!) I have gotten rave reviews from everyone who has ever tried them.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Green plantains
  2. Oil of choice (i.e. lard, coconut oil, light olive oil, etc.)
  3. Deep fryer
  4. Mandoline slicer
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oil in your deep fryer to 375. (Can also be made on the stove.)
  2. Peel the desired number of green plantains. (I usually make 5 at a time, which will yield about 8 cups of plantain chips.Totally guessing on the yield, since my kids will eat them as fast as I can make them!)
  3. Using a mandoline slicer, slice the plantain directly into the hot oil. Be careful not to crowd the fryer. I will usually fry about 3/4 of a plantain at a time. Stir well.
  4. Allow to cook until they are golden brown and start to sound done (you'll be able to tell!). Stir every few minutes while cooking to keep them from sticking together. (This is important, or they become a soggy mess.)
  5. Lift fryer basket out of oil and shake off as much oil as possible. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl, and season with salt to taste. Allow to cool before eating them.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

 

Plantain Coins
This is probably the easiest and fastest way to make plantains as a savory side. It doesn't require any special equipment and only a few minutes of time before it is on the table.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Green plantains (I usually do 3 for my family)
  2. Oil of choice (i.e. lard, coconut oil, light olive oil, etc.)
  3. Sea salt
  4. Skillet
  5. Knife
  6. Fork or spatula for turning
Instructions
  1. Preheat the skillet over medium heat (about 325), and add enough oil to the pan to cover the entire bottom.
  2. Peel the desired number of plantains. Slice into 1/8 inch (or smaller) coins. (The thinner you slice them, the crunchier they will be.)
  3. Place in a single layer in preheated skillet. Cook a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
  4. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season to taste with sea salt.
Notes
  1. These are best enjoyed fresh- they do get stale pretty quickly.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/
Tostones
You have probably encountered these on the menu at your favorite Cuban or Mexican restaurant. Tostones means "twice fried" because they require two rounds of frying. They take a little more time to prepare, but are a star when paired with hamburgers or carnitas. It helps to have a tortilla press, but it can be done just as easily with two plates.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Green plantains (I usually do 3-4 for my family)
  2. Oil of choice (i.e. lard, coconut oil, light olive oil, etc.)
  3. Sea salt
  4. Skillet
  5. Tortilla press (or two plates)
  6. Parchment paper
  7. Paper towels
Instructions
  1. Preheat the skillet over medium heat (about 325). Add enough oil to the pan to cover the bottom.
  2. Peel the plantains and slice into 1-1 1/2 chunks.
  3. Carefully add the plantains to the preheated skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. (I will usually do up to this step ahead of time to make dinner preparation a little less hectic. I also find that it is a little easier to press the plantains flat if they have a few minutes to cool.)
  5. Using a tortilla press (or two plates), sandwich each plantain chunk between two layers of parchment paper and press flat (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.) Transfer to hot skillet with oil in the bottom.
  6. Fry on both sides for a few minutes until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season to taste with salt. Add more oil to pan if necessary, and repeat process until all tostones are done.
Notes
  1. Try these as a simple side, a hamburger bun (my son's favorite), or as a tostada shell for carnitas or barbacoa.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/
Plantain Fries
Plantain fries usually make a less frequent appearance on our dinner table than its cousins (plantain chips, coins and tostones) because they require a little more time and heating up the oven, which you don't always want to do in sunny Florida. But they are well worth the effort. I love to dip them in fresh guacamole.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Green plantains (I will usually do 4 at a time)
  2. Oil of choice (i.e. lard, coconut oil, light olive oil)
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. Other seasonings if desired (i.e. oregano and lemon juice for a Greek flavor, or Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper for some kick)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper (you can skip this, but I find it makes clean up so much easier.).
  2. Place a cookie rack inside of the cookie sheet. (You can skip this step, too. You will just need to turn the fries over about halfway through the cooking time to brown them evenly.)
  3. Peel your plantains.
  4. Cut in half, and then into matchstick fries. Toss with oil, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you would like.
  5. Place the fries in a single layer on the cookie rack (which is sitting inside your cookie sheet.) This allows the air to circulate while baking and leads to more evenly browned fries without having to turn them during the baking time.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, until outside is golden brown and crispy and they are cooked through.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/
 

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