Tostones (or Cara de Gato)

Tostones (or Cara de Gato)

Growing up like I did, moving every few years, I learned to love alot of different foods. Nothing is more dear to my heart than the humble plantain. I especially liked tostones. We called them “Cara de Gato” because they kind of look like a kitty cat face. What kid wouldn’t love cute food?  I like them pretty much any way I can get them though. Crispy chips or sweet tender maduros — I love ’em. When I started eating paleo I had to give up my beloved tortilla chips (I live in Texas ya’ll, those babies are HARD to resist). I naturally gravitated to these thick, twice fried plantains. I don’t make these very often because… well… I eat them like chips! But since it is Super Bowl Sunday and all, lets do it! Tim asked for nachos… his favorite food is nachos. He LOVES them. He put in a special request for them today… and given how much I moan and groan about football all season long, it is only fair he get them. When you eat paleo, plantain nachos are where it’s at!

I use Melissa Joulwan‘s recipe from second cookbook. Well Fed 2. I swear her taco seasoning mix is the BEST.  She calls for thin plaintain chips, but I just find that tostones stand up better to all those toppings.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everybody!

PS: If your local grocer does not have Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt you can get it on Amazon 😀

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Tostones (or Cara de Gato)

Tostones (or Cara de Gato)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Perfect crispy bites of awesome for all your paleo chip needs!

Ingredients

  • 10 Green Plantains
  • Salt, Diamond Crystal Kosher or Coase Sea Salt
  • l cup coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Find the greenest plantains you can!
  2. Cut off the two ends of the plantain and make a deep slice down the length of the plantain (best bet is a ridge)
  3. Peel off the skin of the plantain. It works best to work your finger under the skin and then peel off in chuncks. Green plantain skin does not like to come off so don't be alarmed if the peel breaks off in chunks
  4. Cut your plantains into two inch pieces
  5. Line a plate with paper towels
  6. Heat coconut oil (or if you are feeling really rich a high quality lard) to 300 degrees.
  7. Add plaintains to hot oil and cook 3 minutes until soft. 
  8. Remove from pan onto paper towel lined plate and let them cool
  9. Once they are cool enough to handle. Use the smooth side of your meat malet or other smooth heavy object and smash your plantains. 
  10. Once you have all your plantains smashed reheat your oil to 300 degrees
  11. Line another plate with paper towel
  12. Fry your tostones until golden brown
  13. Remove from pan to paper towel lined plate and salt immediatly

Dad’s Famous Salsa Ranchera

Dad’s Famous Salsa Ranchera

As a kid my Dad made the BEST breakfasts. These breakfasts were glorious. A hybrid of an English Fry Up and a Latin American desayuno typico they had everything you could possibly want. Eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, fried mushrooms, tortilla or toast. Sometimes there were even pancakes. Always, always there was his salsa rachera to drizzle all over the eggs and into that perfect bocadito you were building on your fork with little bits of your favorite things.

I hope his salsa will encourage you to have a family breakfast feast of your own!

Dad's Famous Salsa Ranchera

Dad's Famous Salsa Ranchera

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Although its evolved over time, my Dad's Salsa Ranchera never fails to make breakfast delicious

Ingredients

  • 1 habenero
  • 1 jalepeno
  • 2 serrano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced (about 1/2 an onion)
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • fresh vine ripe tomato
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • 4 grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Gently boil peppers in water until soft
  2. remove peppers from water, deseeed and devein peppers 
  3. blend peppers with immersion blender (or standard blender)... step back though those pepper fumes will getcha!
  4. Set aside
  5. Heat your skillet on med heat and then add olive oil
  6. sweat your diced onion until soft and light golden brown
  7. Add cumin and coriander and stir into onions and heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds, but use your nose, you will smell when its time!)
  8. add tomoato, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce and water. Taste after 10 minutes and adjust for salt. Cook for 30-40 minutes or longer. You want the tomato to cook down and be very soft. Taste it to be sure the tomato has mellowed and all the flavors are well rounded
  9. Serve over fried eggs, on breakfast tacos or basically anything!

 

Perfect Roast Potatoes

Perfect Roast Potatoes

I love potatoes. Seriously, I have to be careful and not make too many or I will eat them all. That’s any kind of potato, mashed, fried, roasted… whatever. So to me there is nothing sadder than the ubiquitous restaurant roated potato. They are not crispy. I’m not sure what they are actually. A boiled potato might even be better. They are almost always underseasoned, they don’t have enough salt, and while you can see the rosemary you ususally can’t taste it.I never order them, they are never worth it. If they do come on my plate, I usually don’t eat them. You can tell by looking at them, they won’t we worth the effort it takes to eat them. Which is sad because good roasted potatoes come down to two things. Time and salt. You need a nice hot oven, patience and good salt. A humble restaurant with nothing fancy to offer could really set themselves apart by putting some time and attention to their roasted potatoes.

So secret number one to a good roasted potato is to boil them. I know, its a second step, but the results are worth it, and it does not take any longer. You can spend your cook time in the pot or in the oven, either way its gonna take the same amount of time. So boil your potatoes all the way…. I mean it, all the way. One time I forgot all about my potatoes and boiled all the water away and caught the potatoes just before they burned in the dry pan, and they still made GREAT roasted potatoes. When you boil them in generously salted water you give them a ton more flavor then you can by roasting them with salt on them. They also come out much creamier than they would if you just roasted them. If you are a busy person, who does not have a ton of time to cook. You can boil these potatoes ahead of time and just roast them when you are ready. A great time saver for a busy weeknight meal.

Let’s talk about your salt. You might be tempted to ignore me and use table salt… don’t. Your potatoes will be terrible. They will be too salty and you won’t want to eat them. If you can’t find the Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, use Morton’s Kosher salt. It’ll be fine. Just DO NOT USE table salt. As a matter of fact, throw away your table salt. I promise you won’t be sorry. That stuff tastes terrible.

My final bit of advice here is don’t take your potatoes out of the oven too soon. You might get impatient, but they are just so much better if you wait until they are golden brown and crispy. If you think they might need some more time… wait. You are right, they need more time.

If your local grocer does not have Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt you can get it on Amazon 😀

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Get perfect crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside roasted potatoes everytime!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Baby Potatoes
  • 8 tbsp Kosher Salt, Diamond Crystal
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp pepper, fresh ground

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Line a sheet pan with heavy duty foil and set aside
  3. Generously salt water and bring to a boil.
  4. Taste water, it needs to taste really really salty. But not painfully so, add enough salt so it tastes like your memory of the ocean
  5. Add your potatoes whole and gently boil for 1o-15 minutes. Until you can prick with a fork and it slides right in. Your potatoes should be throughly cooked
  6. Drain the Potatoes and cut them while they are still hot. Use a oven mit on the hand you use to hold the potato.
  7. Put the cut potatoes on your foil lined sheet pan and toss your potatoes generously with salt, pepper and olive oil (or tasty oil of your choice, I like duck fat or back fat on these... but if you want to keep it vegan, stick with Olive!)
  8. Taste your potatoes do they taste yummy? If not, add more salt.
  9. Step 7: Slide the sheet pan full of potatoes into your hot oven and check them at about 20 minutes. Are they golden? Pick one up and look at the bottom, is it a lovely dark (but not too dark!) golden brown? Yes? Ok, taste it. Is it crispy and delicious? Take it out and serve!

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