When [Missy] returned, she brought appetizers with their drinks, setting the plates down almost reverently. The smell was to die for.
“What have we got here?” Scott asked.
“Freshly fried green plantain chips, and a salsa of garlic, cilantro, lime, and a little green chile. Compliments of the chef. She says it’s more Cuban than Mexican, but she hopes that won’t keep you from enjoying it.”
This is Missy Donaldson’s recipe for tostones—twice-fried Cuban-style green plantains—served with mojo sauce on the side. Holy frijole, indeed.
That woman could cook! Once she and her wife, Deirdre, broke through the town’s Yankee defenses and showed Castle Rock what it had been missing, their restaurant was always full. There’s nothing like good food to attract new friends.
Makes 6 servings
Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels. In a Dutch oven or deep skillet over high heat, warm 1½ inches of vegetable oil to 350°F. Keep watch on the oil as you proceed to peel the plantains.
Using a sharp knife, trim both ends off the plantains. Then, using the tip of the knife, score the skin of each plantain lengthwise, from top to bottom, in three places, trying not to cut into the flesh. Working from one end, peel and discard the strips of skins. Slice the plantains into 2-inch-thick rounds.
Add the plantain slices to the oil, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and fry, turning occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the prepared plate to drain. Temporarily remove the oil from the heat.
Place a plantain on a cutting board and cover with a paper towel folded in half. Press down on the plantain with your palm to smash it into a disc ¼ to ½ inch thick. Repeat with the remaining plantains.
Line the plate with a new double layer of paper towels.
Reheat the oil to 350°F, add the smashed plantains, and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain, then taste and season with salt.
Place the plantains on a clean plate and serve immediately with the mojo sauce for dipping.