Thursday, December 07, 2006

tostones, baked tofu, salad

Here in Syracuse, plantains are ridiculously expensive. So when the local grocery store had them on sale for 50 cents, I grabbed one. I love plantains in any form, but I love the tostones I get when eating out at restaurants. I had never been able to recreate tostones at home, until I saw this recipe on Alton Brown's show, Good Eats. The only change we made was cutting the recipe in half and using a little bit of oil instead of deep-frying like he called for.

Here is a step-by-step guide for yummy tostones:

Cut into 1-inch pieces and fry 1.5 minutes on each side

Remove from oil and flatten

Soak in a mixture of water, salt, and garlic for ~1 minute

Fry again, for 1-2 minutes on each side, remove from heat, season with salt. YUM!

We had these as sides with some quinoa and Puerto Rican style black beans. They were really good! (Now, I've learned from Johanna's blog that these beans weren't too authentic, because we didn't use sofrito, but they were pretty good: onions, bell pepper, hot sauce, and a bunch of spices. Johanna, I promise that one day I will find culantro and make sofrito!)

I was really intrigued by Crystal's baked tofu recipe, so I decided to make some one day. All I had was Mori-nu silken tofu (the kind in an asceptic box), but Crystal had mentioned that she had made hers with silken tofu, so I went ahead and used it. After I kept squishing the tofu, I realized that SOFT silken tofu was probably a very bad idea for this recipe- lol! But guess what? It came out deliciously anyway. For my marinade, I used: tamari, rice vinegar, chili oil, sriracha, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and a tiny bit of maple syrup.

The tofu looks mangled, but tasted excellent and had a really good texture. We ate it with wild rice and some broccoli and green beans that we stir-fried with the leftover tofu marinade. I will be making this recipe again.

Finally, here is another one of our famous everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads:

A mixture of garbanzo beans, fava beans, grated carrots, radishes, bell pepper, onion, currants, shredded carrot, fresh parsley, dried mint, sunflower seeds, flax oil, and red wine vinegar. Usually, I make the crazy salads, but on this night, Daiku surprised me with this, and it really hit the spot! (If I'd made it, it would have probably also had a chopped-up apple in there...)

Sorry for bombarding you guys with food posts, but as you can see, I've had a lot to catch up on... and I'm not done!



Eat Peace Please said...

Thanks for the instructions on the plantains. I should check the prices of them here just to compare. That's funny that the soft silken tofu actually came out, I'm impressed (what an oven can do!). I really like the salad Daiku prepared, and I'm totally with you on the sliced apple. Yum to all of this!

Candi said...

The plantains look good! I've never made them, but I recently had one, but it's weird: At a vegan deli out here (Hillside Quickies) they have really great tofu burgers. The one I ordered had fried plantains on it!! I had to try it, and it was sooo good. Who'd have thought?! Lol.

The baked tofu looks really good too!! Mangled or not - I'd eat that!!

I love your "kitchen sink" salads!! Dried mint.. mmm!

wheresmymind said...

Man all of that looks too good!

Village Mama said...

I love tostones too. My brother-in-law is Cuban, and it's awesome the plantain-hunting skills he exhibits when he wants to cook.

Do you also like yucca?

You are so creative to use an ice cream scooper to serve out your rice...I'm going to have to be a copy cat.

Happy weekend!

aTxVegn said...

Please keep posting - everything looks too delicious! I'm glad you baked your own tofu. I do it all the time because it's so darn expensive to buy it prebaked!

Tell Daiku his salad is awesome!

Anonymous said...

hi: i wish i can send you some culantro!
your beans looks very good, i like the combination you use it!

just a question :
did the plantains you use for tostones was green or yellow ones?

Anonymous said...

i forgot to add:
i lvoe the way you do them, and i dont know why it never occurs to me make them like you and not fry them, what a great idea you give me! i make puertorican food but you upgrade it!(if in english that mean that you make it better, that is was i want to say):)

Nikki said...

I have a not so secret crush on Alton Brown. So cute...

Oh, and the food looks great! :)

The plating on the rice & baked tofu is impeccable.

Kati said...

Believe it or not, I have never eaten a plantain before, but I've always wanted to try them. I just never knew what to do with them...until now!

And I agree with Nikki, your plating is lovely. It's so much more appetizing than what I normally do (slop it all together in a bowl - shame on me!).

bazu said...

Thanks for your comments, all! Plantains are definitely a favorite around here.

Johanna, I used a yellow plaintain (and it was probably a little too ripe!)

Village Mama, I have only had yucca in restaurants, I've never worked with one myself- I don't even think I know how! But I want to learn...

Urban Vegan said...

I love plantains in all their forms, so I'm sure I'll love your tostones.

All of your bean cuisine looks great, too, Bazu (Ohmigod. I can't stop rhyming....Jane! Stop this crazy thing!)

Anonymous said...

How cool! Those tostones look really delicious. I've never eaten them before, but Alton Brown never stears you wrong! I too have been wanting to get some culantro to make her sofrito. I think I'm going to get some seeds and plant them myself! That's quite ambitious though.

I'm glad you made the baked tofu. I promise, it turns out much better with the regular tofu. If you use the Mori-Nu, it's usually better to use the extra firm. However, the first time I used the soft, it all crumbles and I just sort of went with it and wound up mixing it into another dish as crumbles and it turned out great. The texture is so close to the store bought and for a fraction of the price. I never thought of adding sriracha to the marinade. I usually only add it as a condiment but I'm going to give it a try next time. I bet Marty would love it.

Jackie said...

The plantains look great. I must try the recipe sometime when I see them in our shops, quite rare but we do get them once or twice a year.

Anonymous said...

Never appologize for food posts....I love them! The salad looks fantastic, as do those tostones. I've got to try them soon. I've never notices plantains being expensive here.

Anonymous said...

just a note: i ask about the plantains because here the ripe ones are called:

and the green ones are called:

i love how they look!

Anonymous said...

Bazu in aswer to the comment in my blog:
sorry for any confuse in my vocabulary:
both plantains ripe and green are called plantains .but when fried the green ones are called tostones and the yellow ones are called amarillitos. hope you dont mind that i tell you the difference


bazu said...


Ok, I was confused, but totally understand now!

And I totally don't mind your explanation, I love learning new things about food and adding to my knowledge, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank You!

Emmy said...

The tostones look fab! I love Alton Brown's show. I always learn something new when I watch Good Eats. The baked tofu looks really tasty. And what a yummy salad. Very hearty looking :)