Friday, April 3, 2009

Tostones, Spring, and cookies

For you non-Cuban readers, I thought I'd share a picture of a fairly common side dish that we make called tostones.

You take very green plantains (the large looking bananas, which thankfully they sell up here), cut them in ~1.5 inch slices, and fry them for about 5 minutes in 375 degree oil (we use our Fry Daddy). Take them out, smash them with a tostonera (this is the name I just found on the Internet, but for some reason I recollect a different name for this apparatus), or I read you could also use any item from the kitchen that could smash down, like the bottom of a glass. Then put the smashed plantains back in the oil for about another 5 minutes. Take them out and salt generously. Yummy. There are many other ways to prepare plantains. The other way we typically prepare them are when you wait until they are VERY ripe, slice diagonally in 1 inch pieces, and fry them up. These are called platanos maduros and are sweet, and oh so good.

And Spring IS coming. We're seeing more of the street surface now, and most of the sidewalks are clear of ice and snow. Sam and I took his scooter out the other day and went to the park.

Lastly, I made these cookies yesterday evening.

I was inspired by this post at Smitten Kitchen. We had some leftover ganache in the freezer, and the almond appealed to me, but I didn't want a meringuey cookie. So I went in search of a different recipe and decided on this one at because it called for ground almonds and not almond flour (had whole almonds and a mini Cuisinart), and didn't require almond extract, which I didn't have either. I cut the sugar by half so they are slightly sweet instead of SWEET, and I could have gotten away with a little less flour. The are VERY tasty, so if you're out and about, stop by and have one, or two or three!

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