Tostones are a staple of Latin American countries and the Caribbean. Tostones are green plantains that are fried, then flattened, and then fried again. Traditionally, tostones are flattened with a tostonera, a special device created specifically for this culinary purpose.
The gadget reminds me of a mini tortilla press. If you don’t own this gadget, do not fret; a large bottom cup works great.
Tostones can be dipped in a garlic sauce, or eaten with a paste-like dip made from black beans. In some countries, they are served topped with cheese as an appetizer, or with shrimp ceviche, pulled chicken, or avocado salad.
I made a traditional Mexican creamy guacamole to pair with these tostones.
This highly addictive appetizer screams fiesta or game watching food. The addition of crushed red pepper flakes gives these tostones a little heat without being overly spicy and adds an original Latin sabor. For an added dimension of spice, I also added crushed red pepper flakes to the guacamole.
If you have never worked with plantains they do not peel like a banana. The skin is thick and the fruit is firm. Green plantains, and sometimes yellow, can be difficult and tricky to peel. Cut off the ends of the plantain and discard the tips. Hold the plantain firmly and using the tip of the knife, slit the peel along the length of the plantain. Only cut as deep as the peel is thick and remove the plantain peel.