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Onward to the business at hand...
Welcome to Mash-up Saturday
I am not a traditionalist by any stretch. I am a deconstructionist . I love reinventing or reconceptualizing dishes.
One of my favorite chefs out there is David Chang. That dude is a mash-up specialist. He doesn't care if something is Chinese, French, Italian, Thai, or whatnot; if it tastes good it makes it on his plate. If you study his dishes, he may have 5 nationalities blended on one plate. It is in this spirit that I offer this course today.
Plantains are used a lot in Caribbean cooking, especially Cuba. While sweet bananas are generally eaten raw, plantains require cooking. With their high starch content, plantains can be cooked much in the same manner as a potato. Tostones are fried mashed green unripe plantains. Normally Tostones is an accompanier, a sidekick, a tag-along. Here, I make it the central part of a fantastic first course.
After peeling the plantain, you fry them for 2 minutes at 350 F to soften. Then most people use a Tostonera, a wood kitchen contraption, to flatten their tostones. I like to use my hands. Using a few sheets of plastic wrap, I push down and flatten the plantain. Using my hands gives me much better control. Since the tostone is the base of this dish, I must get as much surface area as possible. Once flattened, return to the oil and fry for 5 minutes until golden and crispy.
I am a chicken leg man. My brilliant wife won't eat them, she must have the white meat. I've railed enough against this so I'll move on. Organic free-range legs were made for braising. Drop them in a bath of white wine, acid, herbs, and aromatics. Cook low and slow.
Alright enough talking, lets build some flavor...
Tostone: Fried, flattened, and fried a second time. My good friend Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron let me know that I was becoming a tired cliche with my repeated use of peanut oil to fry stuff. So, these were fried in CORN OIL. See how unpredictable I can be?!
Fresh from Florida...SlimCado Puree. Not to be confused with a Hass Avocado. We can come up with our own wacky marketing LABELS too. Small dice roasted pimenton.
MUST, MUST, MUST component. Yellow onions pickled in my super secret marinade. I could tell you what it is but why ruin a wonderful mystery?
Here is our moist Organic Free-Range Braised Chicken.
A generous drizzle of my devilishly sinful concoction of Miso Mayo, fish sauce, ponzu sauce, plum vinegar, sesame oil, bird's eye chilies, and lemongrass.
Tostone with Braised Chicken
Garnish with fresh chervil and top with the Crispy chicken skin.
If this course doesn't get your dinner party moving, check the pulse of your guests, they may be dead!
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!