Wow, what a week it has been! This past Sunday was Mark and mine’s first anniversary and we celebrated on Tuesday by going to probably the best restaurant in St. John’s, Raymond’s. We’ve been planning and saving for this dinner for a looooong time, so I did not stress about staying AIP-compliant. They were, however, very accommodating in making sure everything I had was gluten-free. It was a perfect night out!
Then on Wednesday I graduated from university with my B. Sc. in Ecology and Conservation Biology! I won’t drone on about how freaking amazing it feels to go from high school dropout to college graduate, but DAMN it feels good! Whoever you are, don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. If you put in the time and hard work, you really can accomplish anything.
I celebrated by going out for lunch with Mark and my dad, then Mark and I took Bella for a nice hike out to Freshwater Bay (where there was an iceberg) and we spent some time relaxing in the sunshine before hiking back. Then we came home and drank a bottle of champagne! I would be completely happy if the only alcohol I could ever have again was champagne. It is soooo delicious and it never makes me feel like crap! Obviously, I chose not to worry about AIP this day either.
But I’m back on the AIP train, at least until we embark on our road trip back to Kentucky. Thankfully one of my favourite foods, plantains, is AIP-friendly! I thought I would share a little step-by-step of how I make my tostones, or fried green plantains. If you’ve never tried plantains before, now is the time. That are so crunchy and salty and just absolutely freaking amazing. And even though there are a few steps involved, they really aren’t difficult to make. I’ve gotten pretty quick and efficient at since I make them pretty much any time I find plantains at the grocery.
Start with green plantains! It’s okay if they are starting to turn yellow, but they should still be mostly green.
Chop the ends off, cut the plantains in half, and then score down the length of the plantain with a knife. You want to cut through the peel, but not too deeply into the flesh.
Then peel them! Sometimes the peels come off easily, but other times not so much. If part of a peel is being very troublesome, I will slice it off with my knife. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Next, slice the plantains into about 1-inch thick slices.
Now is when you cook these little guys for the first time (yup, you need to cook them twice!). I use coconut oil because it can withstand heat well and I don’t find it gives any coconut flavour, but avocado oil would be another good choice. Anyways, you want enough so that 1/4 to 1/3 of the plantain is in oil. Cook covered on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are lightly golden.
While your plantains are cooking, set up your plantain smashing station. You will need a small bowl of cold water, a small plate for smashing, a surface to smash on, and paper towels to drain the plantains after dipping in water.
Once your plantains are done cooking, transfer them to your smashing surface. If you have patience, it helps to let them cool down a few minutes before moving on. If you are like me, then go ahead and use your plate to gently smoosh one plantain at a time. If it is stuck to the plate use a fork to carefully remove it. Then dip the plantain in the cold water and set on a paper towel to drain. Repeat one million times for the rest of the plantain pieces.
After you have smooshed, dipped, and dried all the plantain pieces, turn the heat on your pan up to medium high and throw those precious plantains back in the pan! Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Add more oil as needed… you really want them sitting in the oil, not just a dry pan. I also usually have to do the second cooking in two batches, because, ya know, they take up more space now that they are flat. Once they are done cooking, transfer to fresh paper towels to soak up some of the oil before serving.
These are perfect to eat plain with a sprinkle of salt, or you can really doctor them up. They are great loaded up with pulled pork, taco meat, or chipotle mayo. And a classic is to eat them with them with some avocado. Another winner is eating these with some fried eggs. The possibilities are endless!
These are great leftover too… just reheat in a lightly greased pan and they taste exactly like they do freshly made!
- 2 medium green plantains
- ~1/2 cup coconut oil (amount will vary based on the size of your pan)
- Chop the ends off the plantains, cut in half, score the skin down the length, and remove the peel.
- Cut into 1-inch thick slices.
- Cook covered in large pan over medium with enough oil to reach ¼ to ⅓ the way up the sides of each plantain slice. 4-5 minutes per side, until lightly golden.
- Once cooked, gently smash one slice at a time with the flat surface of a plate. Dip the smashed slice into a bowl of cool water, then transfer to paper towel to drain.
- Turn the pan up to medium high heat.
- Return the smashed and drained slices to the pan to cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add more oil as needed to ensure the slices are really sizzling in the oil. You may need to cook the smashed plantains in two batches.
- Transfer to fresh paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
- Eat them all!