Tostones with Shrimp and Sofrito

Sofrito is a classic condiment in Puerto Rican cuisine that can be used in many different applications. Typically all of the ingredients are pulsed in a food processor, but taking the extra time to cut all of the vegetables into a fine dice makes for a more refined presentation.

Recipe courtesy Susan Vu for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min
 
YIELD: 36 to 38 tostones
LEVEL: --

ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 4 green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled, deveined, tails removed and split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, plus additional whole leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer
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Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line one baking sheet with a kitchen towel and another baking sheet with a cooling rack.

2. Combine 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons salt and the juice of 1 lime in a large bowl. Add the plantains and let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Pour about 2 inches of canola oil into a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F.

4. Transfer the plantains to the towel-lined baking sheet using a slotted spoon; blot dry with paper towels. Fry in batches until the outsides are light golden brown and the centers are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to the rack-lined baking sheet using the slotted spoon.

5. When the plantains are cool enough to handle (after 2 to 3 minutes), use the bottom of a can to flatten each plantain to 1/8 inch thick. Check to make sure that the canola oil is still at 350 degrees F. Fry the flattened plantains in batches until crispy and golden brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to the rack-lined baking sheet with the slotted spoon. Generously salt the fried plantains and transfer the baking sheet to the oven to keep warm.

6. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, Cubanelles and red bell peppers and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and oregano and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp turn opaque and are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining lime juice and the chopped cilantro.

7. To serve, top the tostones with a portion of sofrito and shrimp. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.

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