I learned how to make this from my Colombian mother-in-law. They are very simple to make, and taste great. They taste best when they are hot out of the skillet. We eat them a lot for breakfast, along with either fried eggs or scrambled eggs with tomatos and onion. They also make a great side dish.
- Peel Plantain, and cut it width wise into 3 or 4 pieces.
- I have found that the easiest way to peel the plantain is to cut roughly 1/4" off of each end of the plantain (the very tips), and then carefully, without cutting into the plantain itself, slicing the skin down one side.
- Once you have slit the skin on one side, you can gently pry the peel off with your fingers.
- Heat 1" of vegetable oil on medium heat until hot.
- Fry plantain pieces on both sides for about 3 minutes, or until the pieces are golden.
- When they are golden, remove from pan and place onto a plate covered with a paper towel.
- Flatten the fried plantain.
- I do this by placing the pieces one at a time between 2 pieces of waxed paper, and flattening with my hands.
- Be careful not to put too much pressure, or the plantain will stick to the waxed paper.
- Just gently flatten them till they are about 1/4" thick.
- Place in the hot oil again and fry until both sides are golden brown.
- Drain on paper towel covered plate (be sure to change paper towels in between the 2 fryings) and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve immediately.
- For an extra special treat, eat the patacones with a thin slice of queso blanco (salty white cheese) on top.
Patacones are always good. I am from the Caribbean, and this recipe is quite similar to how we make them at home. The only suggestion I have is, try the bottom of a tall glass or a square of wood to flatten the patacones instead of using your hands - just for safety and they flatten better that way. ONE TIP: do never use olive oil, because the patacones won't get crisp. ANOTHER TIP: green platanoes skin give off a sticky substance when you peel them and that's quite difficult to remove with just soap and water. To remove it easily, rub your hands throughly with cooking oil and a teaspoon of table salt. Your hands will feel baby-soft after that, too ;].
I have a Colombian mother-in-law as well! When she makes patacones she dips them in a bowl of very salty water with garlic before refrying them. This gives them a great flavor and is a nice adaptation.
AH-MAAAZING! I'd eaten patacones in restaurants and they always seemed delicious and mysterious to me. I had no idea they were so incredibly simple to make -- and the salt/garlic suggestion completely bumps this recipe into perfection. I tried them with and without the salt/garlic water dipping step and flavor-wise I think the dipping adds a subtle I-don't-know-why-this-is-so-addictivly-good component. Thanks so much for sharing everyone!!!