The Simple Kitchen Tool That Cranks Out Tostones Faster Than You Can Say 'Plantain'

tostones and sauce dish
tostones and sauce dish - Jose David Gutierrez/Shutterstock

Tostones are the perfect addition to many meals, especially when the crispy fried green plantains are served with rice and beans, creamy avocado, and perhaps slow-cooked meat. But honestly, we'll eat them as a snack dipped in ketchup because they're that delicious. Making them from scratch takes some effort, but luckily, we have a kitchen tool that will get them on your table much faster: A tostonera, also referred to as a plantain smasher.

What's a tostonera? It's a wooden tool that you can use to smash those fried plantains in no time. It's made of two pieces of wood that are attached with a hinge. On one side, you have a round indentation to place the plantain in, and on the other side, there's a larger piece of wood with a handle. That larger piece closes against the other side and smashes the fried plantain into a perfectly round tostone.

Read more: 33 Essential Tools Every Kitchen Must Have

Making Tostones With A Tostonera

Tostones with a tostonera in the background
Tostones with a tostonera in the background - Engels Ozuna/Shutterstock

Just in case you haven't made tostones at home, we're going to give you a basic outline -- and how to use the tostonera to make it easier. You start by peeling green plantains (they look like large, unripe bananas) then you cut them into thick pieces. Next, it's time to heat up your pan of oil, then fry them for a few minutes on each side. After they're cooked, it's time to take them out and drain them on a paper towel.

This is where that tostonera comes into play. After your fried plantains are drained, you place one in the round indentation on the tostonera and close it to smash it into a crispy, flat tostone. If you don't have one in your kitchen, common workarounds are to use the bottom of a coffee mug or a large jar and smash them against a cutting board. After they're all smashed, you return them to the oil and continue to fry them for a few more minutes. When they're ready, drain them again, sprinkle some salt, and serve them with aioli, guacamole, ketchup, or your other favorite go-to dipping sauce.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.