Plantains are not your regular banana. They aren’t sweet and they can’t be eaten raw. With that in mind, chose plantains that have yellow skin, yet are firm to the touch.
Peel them – you might have to cut the stem end off to get the peel started. It’s thick and tends to adhere to the fruit. Slice the plantain into rounds one-half to three-fourths of an inch thick.
Pour three inches of vegetable oil into a skillet. Heat the oil over a medium flame until it sizzles. While the oil heats, fill a shallow pan with two of salted water.
Test the oil by dropping one of the plantains slices in. When it immediately sizzles, the oil is ready.
Fry the slices a few at a time, putting in enough to cover the bottom of the skillet without overlapping slices. Turn them when they brown around the edges. When the plantain are pale brown on both sides, remove them from the oil. Drain briefly on paper towels, then slide the cooked slices into the salted water.
Let the plantains soak for a couple of minutes. Take them out of the water, dabbing off the excess. Using the back of a spoon, gently press the soaked slices until the edges burst!
Return the pressed slices to the oil, frying on both sides until they are a deep golden brown.
With some practice, you can establish a rhythm; one batch coming out of the oil as another goes in. Don’t skip the salt water soak – it keeps the slices from falling apart when you press them.
After the second frying, drain the patacones well. Salt them to taste and serve. Eat them right away – they aren’t very good cold. SHARE With Your Friends: