Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Sometimes, my favorite “new” recipes are just mash-ups of old standbys. It’s kind of like when you look in your closet and suddenly realize that you can pair a favorite cardigan with a treasured skirt for a chic #OOTD. (To be honest, I have no idea what this is like in real life ’cause I only wear sweats and threadbare 20-year-old T-shirts from Gap Outlet, but you catch my drift.)

Along these lines, one of my fab new/old pairings is Fried Green Plantains with Mango + Avocado Salsa. I wish I could say I came up with this recipe revamp, but it was actually suggested to me when I was planning the menu for my Fresh Starts Chef Event dinner. I loved the idea so much that I’m gonna take all the credit for it.

Even though these recipes are already separately listed in my Recipe Index, I think it’s mean of me to make you click back and forth between two of my old posts, so I reshot ’em and smooshed both recipes together into one post. I’ve also added tips on how I like to slice mangos and juice limes like a boss. Time to level up your snacks, Nomsters!

Serves 4-6 people

For the fried green plantains (a.k.a tostones or patacones):

  • 4 cups coconut oil, lard, or tallow
  • 4 green plantains (around 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt

For the Mango + Avocado Salsa:

  • 2 cups diced ripe mango (about 2 mangos)
  • 1 cup diced Hass avocado (1 medium avocado)
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • big pinch of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Juice from 1 lime

Equipment:

Method:

Make the fried plantains first ’cause the salsa only takes a few minutes to throw together.

Heat your fat of choice in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it reaches 325˚F. (Yes, I recommend checking the temperature with your trusty thermometer.)

In the meantime, cut the ends off the plantains. (Tip: make sure you use super-green plantains. If you spot only ripe, splotchy, yellow-brown plantains on display at the market, be sure to ask your friendly produce guy or gal if they have some green ones in the back.)

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow line down the length of each plantain, making sure you don’t cut into the fruit. Then, slice each plantain into three even pieces (about 2 inches in length). Yes, you can definitely cut them into smaller pieces but I like BIG patacones (or tostones).

When the oil reaches 325˚ F, carefully lower the plantains into the shimmering fat. The oil should immediately start bubbling around the plantains as soon as it comes in contact. Fry the plantain pieces for 3 to 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they turn golden yellow. Transfer the fried plantains to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain off any excess oil.

Next, it’s time to smash.

Place a fried plantain between two pieces of parchment paper. Smash it with a meat pounder, tortilla press, or a small cast iron skillet—or just about anything else that’s flat and heavy—until you end up with a thin (about ¼-inch thick) plantain patty. Repeat until you’ve taken out your aggression on all the fried plantain pieces.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Make sure the patties aren’t too thin; otherwise, they’ll fall apart when you fry them. But try to pound them thin enough so that they’ll get properly crunchy.
Bring the temperature of the fat up to 350˚ F, and fry the plantain pancakes in the oil until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the oil: fry about two to three smashed plantains at a time.

These crunchy treats are done when you flick ’em with your fingers and they sound hard and hollow. (Pro tip: take them out of the hot oil before you flick them.)

Transfer the fried plantains to a metal cooling rack and repeat the steps above with the rest of the batch.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Sprinkle coarse salt on top and start making the salsa.

Grab two ripe mangos and dice them up. I like to peel off the skin first with a vegetable peeler and then cut a slice on either side of the flat seed in the center. I also trim off some of the extra flesh on the side of the seed to snack on.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Place the diced mango in a bowl and add in the cubed avocado…

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…½ cup finely diced red onion, ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro…

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, a big pinch of kosher salt…

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Get a lime and cut a slice parallel to the center. Continue cutting slices around the center core – the center pith and seeds will be trapped in a tidy column that you can squeeze and toss.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Squeeze the lime juice and marvel at how much easier it is to get every bit of juice out this way!

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Toss the ingredients to combine, and taste and adjust for seasoning.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This salsa tastes great on any protein (e.g. salmon, chicken, pork, etc.)…

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…but it’s especially amazing spooned on a crispy fried green plantain.

Fried Green Plantains + Mango Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my Webby Award-Winning iPhone® and iPad® app, and in my New York Times-bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

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