Fried Plantains (Tostones) with Cilantro Lime Creme

 *As seen on Indy Style, June 9th 2015. Segment: Themed Summer Gatherings

Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 15 min
Yield: 4-6 servings

For the Tostones:

  • 2-3 ripe green plantains (*note, they turn brown     when fully ripened. Look for plantains with nice even dark color, slightly soft, no “squishy” spots.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of canola oil (or enough to fill skillet 3/4 inch deep)
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt to taste

In a deep medium sized skillet, add oil and on medium to medium-high.

Meanwhile, slice both ends off of each plantain. With the tip of your knife, cut a straight line, lengthwise, through peel from top to bottom. Use your fingers to separate the peel from the flesh, working along the line you created. It’s okay if you score into the flesh of the plantain. It will live 😉

Cut each plantain into 3/4 inch slices. Make sure the oil in your pan is shimmering, before adding the sliced plantains. Cook the slices for about one minute on each side, until golden. Using tongs, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. 

Next, locate any kind of smashing device somewhere in your kitchen. (Glasses, coffee mugs, and measuring cups are all good candidates). Just make sure it’s flat on the bottom and no larger than 3-4 inches in diameter. 

On a cutting board, stand your plantain pieces upright and smash them! If your plantain is sticking to the bottom, a little oil applied beforehand will help. You can also use a knife or spatula to remove those stubborn ones. 

Give them a second go-around in the hot oil for another few minutes on each side. They should be golden brown. Transfer to your paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt to taste. 


For the Cilantro Lime Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • A small handful of fresh cilantro (about 1/3 cup)
  • Pinch of salt

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients until well blended. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. 

Pesto Tortellini Salad

image

This hearty pasta salad is sure to be a hit wherever you bring it. We put it in individual jars for easy serving at picnics and tailgates. Glass containers will retain the cold from your cooler, and the basil and lemon make this dish so refreshing on a hot day!

1 LB tortellini
1 1/3 cups prepared pesto
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup shredded carrot
2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of one lemon

Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil and let cool. Meanwhile, sauté the bell pepper and red onion for several minutes, allow to cool. In a bowl, combine the pesto with the juice of one lemon. Whisk while drizzling 2-3 more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the tortellini, peppers, red onions, green onion, shredded carrot, and cherry tomato halves. Toss in the pesto. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 10-12.

Cherry Orange Chicken Salad

image
Here’s a new take on a classic pot-luck chicken salad, perfect for picnics, out-door concerts, and tailgates! The dried cherries add a bit of tart sweetness and the pistachios are just the right amount of salty crunchy goodness to round out the dish. This is one of our new favorites!

1 LB chicken breast, roasted, diced
1 cup mayo
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup green onion, sliced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1/3 cup mandarin oranges, drained & chopped
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced

In a medium bowl, combine the celery, green onion, dried cherries, mandarin oranges, pistachios and chicken. In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking the sour cream, mayo, brown sugar, orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can be made up to three days ahead of time. Yields 8 servings.
image