Almost Like Praying for Puerto Rico! Tostones with Mojito Dip & Maduros!
There have been so many natural disasters in the United States in recent weeks… Houston… Florida… but what’s happened in Puerto Rico is overall completely devastating. It’s been three weeks and still, at this moment, only 16% of the entire island has electricity. There are people still desperate for clean water and supplies, who are isolated in the mountains and towns due to impassable roads. It’s bad… and continues to be bad.
As a native New Yorker, there is a huge connection to Puerto Rico. As Southern Florida is likened to being New York South, New York is Puerto Rico North, what with the vibrant Puerto Rican culture in all corners of the boroughs.
I traveled to San Juan as a teenager on a family vacation (see Mom, sisters Vincenza & Nancy, and me – photo by Dad). It was incredible with it’s lush beauty, rich history, and amazing cuisine. I returned years later and had an equally fabulous time, feeling it’s restorative vibe and joyful exuberance. On both trips, and what brought me – and will bring me – back, is the amazing vibrant, passionate people. It’s nothing without the people, and what’s happening – and not happening – now is adding insult to injury. They need help!
I partnered with my friend, Denise Schira, who is Puerto Rican and has many relatives on the island, which is in dire need, to share authentic Puerto Rican dishes AND raise some money to help those on the island. Yeah, I’m looking to you delicious people to give what you can in any way you can while you also embrace these yummy dishes!
Watch the video and you’ll hear the fabulous song created by Lin-Manuel Miranda called Almost Like Praying – all proceeds go to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. It’s only $1.29 and it’s totally infectious. If they made money by how many times it’s heard, I’d be broke!
If you want to give more, consider the Hispanic Foundation – UNIDOS, where all of the funds go directly to aid Puerto Rico.
This is a difficult time. Americans are being tested and we see that there is love and a call to action to help each other. This is life-affirming. While things out of our control are swirling about, it’s wonderful to see the unity in people to help one another.
As for the Tostones with Mojito Dip and Maduras, they are DELICIOUS!!! Denise was so kind to share her recipes and I loved getting to taste without doing the cooking for a change. She is a fabulous person doing good – and doing it well – every single day.
You’ll go BANANAS for these dishes! Give for Puerto Rico!
- • 2 green plantains
- • 2 cups canola oil
- • 4 tsp sea salt
- • 1/4 cup olive oil
- • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- • 1/2 lime, juiced
- • 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Refrigerate.
- Cut the ends from the plantains then score them. Use a spoon or butter knife to pry the skin off. Slice evenly into 1" pieces.
- Add 3 tsp salt to a bowl of water and soak the plantain pieces until you're ready to fry.
- Over medium high heat, add oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the plantains. Turn when they're a light gold. When both sides are golden, pierce with a toothpick. If it goes through easily, remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Using a flat surface like a glass, a folded paper bag or parchment paper, or an authentic tostonera, flatten each plantain piece.
- Reheat and return to the pan. As they turn golden brown, turn them. To know they're done, tap them to hear a dense, flat crispy noise.
- Sprinkle with salt and serve with the Mojito Dip.
- They're best served hot from the pan.
- Top them with anything you like.
- 2 ripe plantains
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Cut the ends from the plantains then score them along the seams. Peel away the skin. Slice diagonally and evenly into 1/2" pieces.
- Over medium high heat, add oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the plantains. Turn when they become golden brown. When both sides are golden, remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a non-stick pan, add the butter and sugar and mix until it starts to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Add the plantains to the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they're brown on both sides.
- Serve immediately.
- They're great served with ice cream!