Photo by Anthony Quintano
This is our spicy take on a classic Caribbean/Latin American appetizer, featured in March’s Culinarie Kit. It’s garlicky to the max, and salty enough to cure a hangover. These fried and smashed plantain bites will make you wonder why you haven’t been eating them at every meal. Bonus: the few ingredients are dirt cheap, so you can make (and eat!) a ton of them.
Spicy Tostones Recipe
5 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Heckdust Spice Blend
Warm oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. In the meantime, roughly mince the garlic and add to pan. Allow garlic to simmer in oil for 10-15 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown. There should be very little movement in the oil; lower the heat if it is boiling.
When garlic is cooked, use a mesh strainer or fork to remove all garlic and reserve for later. Add Heckdust to the oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
Slice plantains into 1/2″ rounds and carefully place into the hot oil. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, then flip each slice and fry another 2-3 minutes. Remove the plantains with a slotted spoon and arrange in a single layer on a paper towel.
Gently smash the rounds with a large, flat surface like a cutting board. You can also use a rolling pin or the bottom of a coffee mug in a pinch, but be cautious about splattering hot oil (it’s okay to let them cool for a bit if you’re nervous).
Return the smashed tostones to the pan and fry until both sides are browned and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Place cooked tostones in a large bowl and add reserved garlic and salt. Toss to distribute, serve immediately.
You can control the amount of heat by increasing or reducing the amount of Heckdust. If you’ve run out of it, simply use another hot ground chile pepper like cayenne or chipotle powder as a substitute (or order more on our website–it’ll be available soon).
If you have a deep frier, these can be made in 1/2 the time, just sauté the garlic with Heckdust separately.