Tostones to Puerto Ricans, and patacones to Costa Ricans – Call them whatever you like as long as I get some!
I rode my bike to a friends house today and cut down some green plantains from their yard. I hadn’t really considered how heavy they were, or how crazy it would be putting them in my basket and walking my bike up and down the steep, rocky hill to her house and then the ride home. I’m not sure I’ll be doing that again any time soon but for today it was well worth it, especially since her grandma was there. (A grandma who happens to bring and sell stylish clothes when she visits.) ;)
So to make these, you have to use the green (unripe) plantain bananas. The yellow ones are sweet and soft and don’t need the extra steps of flattening and re-frying like the green ones do. I’m more of a salty kinda gal so the greens are my favorite.
Cut them into around 1 to 1.5 inch slices. Thick enough to squish, but not so thick that they’ll take forever to get soft. Fry them for a few minutes on each side until they start to turn a nice golden color. You’re just getting them soft enough to flatten.
They’ll look something like this when you’re done.
Now it’s time to flatten these babies. Puerto Ricans use a kitchen gadget called a tostonera, here in Costa Rica I just used the metal tortilla press I have, but two plates or Pyrex dishes will do the trick just fine. I sprinkle a little Adobo seasoning on the bottom and on the top just before squishing, this way they have that authentic Puerto Rican flavor I love.
Now they’re all flat, seasoned, and ready to be fried again.
Once they turn a nice golden brown they are done!
These lasted all of about 2 minutes in my house. The kids smell them cooking and stay close to the kitchen until they’re ready to eat.
If you like, add some refried beans on the side for dipping. Sooooooo delish!!!
It’s been months since I’ve seen them, but the toucans and capuchin monkeys are finally back! As soon as the rains picked up around here they both returned. The overcast skies are not so great for pictures and video, but I’m just happy to see them. It’s a bit less jungl-y around here without them. :)
There’s a beautiful flowering shrub called Mussaenda that I’ve had my eye on since we moved here. A friend recently told us of an inexpensive place to buy plants and trees so we went to check it out yesterday. I wish I would’ve thought to bring my camera, but honestly, I wasn’t sure if we were going to an actual store or to someones yard so I didn’t even think of it. I should know better by now, really! Next time, for sure. There were SO many things I wanted and left behind (like a cacao tree) simply because we couldn’t fit anything else in the truck!
We bought an orange tree, two of the Mussaenda, one white, one pink, a couple of palm trees, an aloe plant, and a teeny tiny plant that I gave to Nadi.
Here’s the orange tree being planted…
The smaller orange trees were only $4 each, but we bought the $20 one that was a year old, this way we’ll see fruit in another year and a half rather than two to three.
Here’s the pink variety of the Mussaenda, though it has no flowers on it yet…
I had it planted up at the front of the house because I want it to be the first thing I see when we pull up the driveway. Someday it’ll look like this…
Gorgeous, no?!! I love it!
Here’s the white one planted next to it…
Both of these plants were $4 each, and so was my aloe and the two palms.
And here’s a very happy Nadi with his little plant. :)