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…or, as we call them in the U.S., “Fried Plantains.”

I was taught at an early age from my Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican in-laws, how to prepare Patacones, also called “Tostones.” I believe South Americans refer to them as Patacones, and Central Americans call them Tostones – don’t hold me to that though. Please feel free to share any correct information you may have on that. My sister-in-law is from Guatemala, she may know!

One of my children’s favorite meals while they were growing up was white rice, black beans, Fritada (the Ecuadorian name for fried pork), and sometimes I would even make Chicharrón (fried pork rind), served with white Spanish cheese and Patacones.

Plantains are quite delicious and have nutritional value as well. They have similar sugar and potassium (approx. 893 mg) content as a banana, but contain significantly higher amounts of vitamin A and copper. Potassium is important and necessary for proper function of all tissues and organs. Copper is important for the production of red blood cells, as well as our nervous system (load me up!), and also bone & immune system health. Wow – we all need these things! They also provide vitamins C & B.

I use canola oil to fry my plantains, and dab as much grease off as I can when they are done. I don’t eat these all the time, so when I do, I make sure I ENJOY THEM – no guilt! I season them with garlic powder and Goya Adobo (of course, if you know me, you know I love GOYA Adobo!).

Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno!!

How to make Patacones:

1. Learn how to peel a plantain. I was taught to take a knife and slice off the ends. Then cut the peel straight down – from top to bottom, not cutting into the actual fruit, only the peeling. Make one cut on each side. Then wedge your thumb into the cut and start pulling the peeling away from the fruit.

2. Then slice into pieces – I was taught to cut at an angle. About 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.

3. Fry them in canola oil, seasoning each side with Goya Adobo and garlic powder. Turn when the bottom reaches a nice golden brown. After browning both sides, remove from pan and place on a chopping board. This is when we pound them, to flatten them. Yes…it’s all about technique!

4. After flattened, drop them back into the frying pan for about another minute on each side. Why? Who knows!? Like I said it’s ‘technique’ and years of tradition – they’re great, that’s all I know! Add more seasoning at this point if desired. Remove from pan, placing on paper towels to remove some oil. Serve and eat while nice and warm!

Try something new today… food from another culture. You and your family will most likely be pleasantly surprised!

Today, in my ME-gan world,  I enjoy Tostones with rice and beans. Fuggitabout the cheese and the pork! Serve with cucumber ceviche (my recipe to come soon!), over the rice or on the side, and Mmmm….what a meal!

Here’s to GOOD food, GOOD living and the many cultures of this beautiful world that God made! Live, love, be strong and live long!

ME-gan Love,

Mary

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