Cuban Tostones con Mojo Recipe

Want to learn to make authentic Cuban tostones? Well, tostones is basically a savory plantain chip that is enjoyed as a snack or a side in many Caribbean cuisines. It is very easy to make provided you have the right ingredients.

Before we get started, here are a few utensils you will need:

  • chefs knife, pairing knife, small vegetable knife
  • cutting board
  • large skillet
  • deep saucepan
  • frier spatula
  • rubber spatula
  • whisk
  • plate & bowl for serving
  • paper towels

Ingredients:

  • 3- 4 green plantains (must be firm, not yellow)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup juice of sour oranges (naranja agria)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • lots of salt & pepper
tostones-560x350Directions:

Peel the plantains using a sharp knife across the length of the skin. Loosen the peel along the cut and remove peel by hand. Cut the plantain into 2 inches wide slices.

Heat the vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, fry the plantain slices for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, just long enough to make them soft. Remove the plantains and drain on paper towels. Use a plantain press or the palm of your hands to smash the plantains to about half their thickness. Fry the plantains a second time in the same hot oil, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain excess oil with paper towels. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and serve warm.

The Mojo sauce can be made ahead of time. Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan on medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and fry about 30 seconds. Add the sour orange juice, cumin and salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil and whisk if necessary. Adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat and cool. Serve the Tostones with a side of Mojo sauce in a small bowl.

Mojo is best served within a couple of hours of making, but can it keep for several days airtight in the refrigerator.
Sucheta Rawal, founder of Go Eat Give will be preparing this recipe at the Travel and Adventure Show in Washington DC. Come see her at the Taste of Travel Stage on Sunday, March 8th 2:30-3:15pm for a sample and to learn about our trips to Cuba. 

How to eat Halloumi

This coming weekend, I will be presenting at the Travel Adventure Show in Atlanta. I will be cooking a dish from Cyprus for the Fiery Food Challenge. The dish is Halloumi with Red Peppers, Capers and Olives Dressing. It is hearty, spicy and delicious with layers of different flavors creating an explosion in your mouth! Halloumi is a firm, chewy, salty cheese made with goats milk and is traditional to Cyprus. It is sliced like fresh mozzarella, grilled and served in sandwiches and salads. During summers, it is eaten raw with fresh watermelon. Halloumi can also be grated and served over pasta.

Here is the recipe for the what I will be making. If you would like a taste, stop by the Fiery Foods stage on Sunday, Oct 23 at 1pm at the Cobb Galleria.

Halloumi with Red Peppers, Capers and Olives Dressing

(Serves 4-6)

 Ingredients
·        4 tbsp olive oil
·        8 slices Halloumi cheese, 1/2″ thick
·        2 large peppers, cored, de-seeded and cut into 3/4” strips
·        2 garlic cloves, crushed
·        2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
·        16 black olives, pitted
·        1 tbsp each of chopped fresh mint, and chopped flat-leaf parsley
 
For the dressing
·        2 tbsp white wine vinegar
·        6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
·        1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
·        1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
·        1 small red chili, de-seeded and chopped

 

Method

Heat oil in a large pan and stir fry the peppers on medium heat until fully cooked. Add the garlic, capers, olives and herbs, fry for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same fry pan, grill the Halloumi slices until brown on both sides, turning once. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

When ready to serve, place 6 toasted slice of baguette or crusty bread on a plate, scoop some of the pepper mixture over the bread distributing evenly. Set one piece of the cheese on the pepper mixture.  Drizzle the dressing over Halloumi and red peppers. Serve immediately.