I feel like I’m the last person in the world to learn about tostones.  How did I not know about these little delectable slices of goodness??  Was this like the paleo world’s best kept secret or something??  Well if so, jokes on you, because I FOUND OUT. And now, I can’t stop.  I made them once, and ate almost 3 plantains worth all by myself..oops.  Then I decided I needed to share these with my family, but sadly, my husband and son don’t love them as much as I do!

I think it’s because A) my son definitely has my chip-loving gene.  He likes salsa (he’s three), and crunchy corn chips…man, back in the day I could put away an entire bag of chips and salsa all by myself for a snack…that’s insane.  So he’s expecting some real crunch, but they aren’t quite the same.  and B) I think they expect them to be sweet because they LOOK like bananas, but aren’t quite the same.  It’s a total mind meld.

Anywayyyys, we live in Texas, so Tex-Mex is kind of an everyday staple in our household, so when I was contemplating what to do with these little guys, of course NACHOS has to be the answer.  Actually, nachos are pretty much the answer to any major life question.  Can’t figure out what to do with your life? Nachos.  What do you wear today? Nachos.  What’s the theory of creation?  Nachos probably happened somewhere in there.

Couple things about this perfect meal.  I like my tostones from really green plantains.  The first reason is because I want them more like a chip consistency and flavor–if you wait too long and the plantains start to ripen and get sweet, they’ll still be good, but just more on the sweet side.  The second reason is because I like to smash them realllllllly thin and get them super crispy when frying.  Green plantains hold up better to smashing, whereas ripe plantains tend to turn more mushy and sticky.  Of course this is just my personal preference and experience.  Also, these are definitely a make and eat right away meal.  Like any chip, the longer you let it sit with all the toppings on it, the soggier it will be.  So fry, top, consume.  Not that you’ll want to wait anyways, we literally inhaled these in about 5 minutes.  And lastly, I’m giving you topping suggestions that worked for us, but really you can choose to edit, omit, or change anything that suits your fancy.  If you can’t tolerate goat cheese, take it out.  If you like shredded cheddar, go for it.  Can’t stand onions, by all means, leave them off.  I’m not the paleo police, nor am I gonna tell you how to live your life, so please, do with these what works for you.

And do yourself a favor and serve these with the Guacamole con Crema I posted here several weeks back…it’s the ultimate accessory to these bad boys, you won’t regret it!

Ingredients:

For beef mixture:

1 lb ground beef

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/4 cup fresh green onions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

For tostones:

2-3 large green plantains, peeled and cut into about 1 inch slices

1/4-1/2 cup coconut oil (amount will vary depending on size of pan)

salt to taste

Suggested Toppings:

chopped lettuce

diced tomatoes

diced fresh jalapenos

diced red onions

chopped fresh cilantro and green onions

goat cheese or shredded cheese if you can tolerate it

Guacamole con Crema (recipe found here)

Directions:

For beef mixture:

  1.  In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat until warm.
  2. Add in beef and brown beef until no longer pink.
  3. Right before meat is completed, add in all spices and fresh herbs and cook until done.

For tostones:

  1. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat until warm.
  2. Place plantain slices in pan and lightly fry until very light golden brown on each side. (you will have to flip once)
  3. Remove plantains from pan and smash with the bottom of a coffee cup until you reach desired thickness. (I like mine as thin as I can get them before they’re falling apart).
  4. Place smashed plantains slices back into pan and lightly fry on each side until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove from pan and salt to taste.

To assemble nachos:

  1.  Arrange tostones on a large plate.
  2. Top with beef mixture, and then whatever toppings you choose.
  3. Serve with guacomole con crema (recipe found here) and ENJOY!

 

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