Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mama's Tostones (Plantains)

The holidays conjure up all sorts of memories of family meals. I write a lot about my Granny's recipes. But today, my mom and I had the pleasure of making one of her mother's specialties, Mama's Tostones.

Mama was from the Dominican Republic, so in addition to Granny's amazing Italian food, I had the luxury of experiencing "Island Food" as I grew up.

Many of you have probably enjoyed traditional Fried Plantains, which are sweet. Tostones are a salty version of plantains. Plantains are high in Fiber, Potassium and Vitamin A and C. And they're delicious. To make Tostones:

1. Slice into the skin without hitting the meat with your knife. Slice it lengthwise in a few spots so you can peel the skin off.

2. Cut the plantains into 1 inch chunks.

3. Heat Canola oil in a frying pan.

4. Lightly brown both sides of the plantain chunks.

5. Put the browned chunks on a paper bag. (I know that sounds weird. Just go with it.)

6. When the plantains cool, put another paper bag over the pieces and press down hard on each slice until it's as flat as you can make it.

NOTE: It's important to use paper bags because paper towels shred.

7. Put the flattened Tostones back in the frying pan. Brown them again.

8. Place the Tostones on a plate covered with a paper towel (so the oil drains). Salt them immediately.
NOTE: By salting immediately, the salt sticks to the oil on the plantains.

9. Enjoy the Tostones by themselves or dip them in guacamole for an extra treat!

What family foods do you love?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pan Roasted Rib Eye Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

Have I mentioned how important it is to stock up when meat is on sale? I just bought a delicious bone-in ribeye steak for $5.68. Its normal price is about $16. So by simply keeping an eye on your store's weekly sales, you can save a bundle.

Anyway, let's get to the meat. Ribeye steaks are fatty. Now, don't freak out and bail on the blog. Fat = Flavor! And one ribeye, when it happens to be on sale, is not going to kill you. In fact, it will delight you. And even more delightful, it only takes a few minutes to make. I like mine with mushrooms and onions. If that sounds good to you, pan roast yourself a ribeye steak with onions and mushrooms like this:

1. Slice up an onion and an equal amount if mushrooms.

2. Heat a metal handled frying pan on your stove on medium high. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Pour enough olive oil in the pan to cover the bottom. (Probably about two circles around the pan.)

4. When the oil is hot, add your mushrooms and onions. Lightly brown them. (About five minutes.) Add salt and pepper.

5. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

6. Next salt and pepper your steak. Then add it to the pan. Sear one side. It should take about four minutes.

7. When the downside is gorgeously browned, flip it over. If you have rosemary or another favorite woody herb, sprinkle some on top.

8. Pour the mushrooms and onions over the steak and put the pan in the oven for about five minutes for medium.


10. Plate the food. Let the steak rest for five minutes before cutting into it.


This is my favorite steak because it's flavorful and I get to gnaw on the bone. What's your favorite kind of steak? Why?