One of the things I love most about traveling is learning about new foods and/or new ways to cook familiar foods.
While I was in Panama, one of my favorite side dishes were patacones. I had tried plantains before, many times in fact, but I was never really thrilled with them. That was until I had green plantains. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I tend to not like to mix sweet flavors with savory meals…hence me not being particularly fond of ripe/yellow plantains.
The best thing about them is that they are so quick and easy to make (+ not expensive).
You only need three ingredients: green plantains, oil, and salt.
1. Peel your plantains. I like to slice vertically down the length of the plantain into only the skin, probably about 3-5 slices. Then I peel them.
2. Next, slice the plantains into 1/5inch chunks.
3. Heat your oil. I use whatever oil I have available, this time it was sunflower. You can test your oil by giving it a light (very light) splash of water. If it starts bubbling and crackling, it’s ready. Place your plantain chunks in the oil, rotating until a golden color.
4. Remove the plantains from the oil and let drip dry over some paper towels. I like to get some of the excess oil off first. Then piece by piece, I smash each chunk under a flat surface (for me, this is usually the bottom of a cup). No need to be perfect here, it’s better if they have some personality. Once complete, drop them back in the hot oil for a quick second fry. Remove and drain again. Sprinkle with salt or preferred seasonings.