Let me tell you a story about love and tostones…
I have read with a smile on my face the accounts of our readers who have found our sites useful when introducing their foreign spouses to Dominican food, or who want to learn about Dominican cooking to the delight of their Dominican spouses. I must confess now that our website has helped me as much as it has helped our readers.
When my now-husband first arrived in the Dominican Republic he didn’t immediately become a fan of Dominican food. The stereotypical image of what Dominican food is (or isn’t) didn’t help much: he thought Dominican food was all about rice and beans. Cooking at home became a tour de force: a conflict between my ability to cook dishes that were better known throughout the world, and my regular craving for Dominican food.
Now my husband has taken it upon himself to become a self-styled expert on Dominican food, after all, being Aunt Clara’s husband bears some responsibilities, I suppose. Little by little he has learned to appreciate our cuisine and has even shown an interest in learning how to prepare some of our dishes.
I do not think that he will ever get to like mondongo—but hey, I don’t eat meat so I can live with that. Chances are he will never understand our love for habichuelas con dulce or agree to even try carne de chivo; but I find pleasure in the fact that he considers some of our dishes as his favorite food. After all, it means that our blog has made another another Dominican food fan.
Every time we receive a letter thanking us for our blogs I remember that I should be thanking our readers too. Your letters and constant support have made this job easy and enjoyable for us; I suppose that I should also thank our readers because in a way you are responsible for our marital bliss.
If you also have a reluctant spouse, do not despair, be patient, eventually they all fall. You would not believe the powers of a hot asopao on a rainy day. I just hope that when the groom said “I do”, free tostones wasn’t the only thing he had in mind.
So, what are tostones?
Dominicans’ favorite side dish, tostones are slices of plantain, fried, flattened, then fried again. It is the side dish of choice, and welcome at street food stands and at Dominican dinner tables. They are also known as fritos verdes (green fries) in the Dominican Republic.
While tostones are usually served as a side dish, I have added a quick, flavorful dip to the recipe, in case you want to serve as finger food. It is bowl-licking good.
- 2 unripe plantains
- ½ cup of oil
- 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt, or to taste
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley
- 1 clove of garlic
- A pinch of pepper
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Peel the plantains and cut into 1 inch [2.5 cm] thick slices.
- In a deep frying pan heat the oil and fry the plantains till golden.
- Flatten the plantains using a tostonera to about ¼" [0.5 cm].
- Fry the plantains again until golden yellow on both sides.
- Sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.
- Pulse all the ingredients until they are thoroughly blended but not liquified.