Nachostones: Not'yo Typical Nachos

By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina


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Nachos are definitely a fun appetizer to share with friends, but I find them to be a little too messy. I've made my own Colombian version of this favorite Tex-Mex recipe by substituting the nachos for tostones (or fried green plantains), which keep their shape without crumbling under toppings thanks in part to two rounds of frying.

Tostones are quite popular in Latin America and the Caribbean; they are simply smashed green plantains that are fried and served as a side dish or appetizer. They may sound complicated to make, but with a little patience you will get a delicious version of nachos I'm calling Nachostones. Mi abuela used to make a wonderful hogao to top the fried plantains, which is a sauce made with thick crema latina, green onions, tomatoes and salt.

Every time I make my Nachostones, I end up having to write the recipe for someone. This dish has become a new favorite among my American friends who attack them as soon as they come out of the fryer. The key to them is to make every bite crunchy and tasty without overcooking the plantains. I usually fry them the first time, and smash them with a plate. Then, right before putting them back into the oil, I dip them in a mix of lime, garlic and salt. The end result is absolutely amazing.

Vamos a cocinar…

Try my Guacamole with Tequila for another Nachostones topping

(6 servings)

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Ingredients

Tostones
3 green plantains
2 cups oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 limes, juiced
Salt to taste

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Hogao
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 green onions, sliced
3 medium red tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup crema latina
½ cup grated cheese (like Queso Fresco Benita)
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

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Tostones
Peel the plantains, and cut them into 1½ inch pieces. Pour the oil in a deep skillet, and preheat at medium-high heat. Fry the plantains for 3 minutes. Remove from the oil, and let them sit for 2 minutes. Place each of the fried plantain pieces between two paper towels and smash with a plate. In a separate bowl, combine minced garlic, lime and salt. Carefully place the smashed plantains in the mix and put them back into the fryer for another 5 minutes. Remove them from the oil, and add salt immediately after.

Hogao
Combine the oil, green onions, and tomatoes in a pan and cook at medium heat. Let the vegetables soften. Add the crema latina and salt. Cook for 4 minutes stirring the mix until all the ingredients blend well together. Top the plantains with the mix and garnish with queso fresco.

Notes
- Crema latina is a type of cream that looks like thick half-and-half. It can be found in the dairy section of Latin supermarkets as "Crema Latina" or "Crema Centroamericana".
- Queso fresco is a white, soft and moist type of Latin cheese that is also found in the Latin supermarkets. The Benita and Oaxaca brands are great options for this dish, however, if you can't find them at the store, they can be substituted for feta or your favorite salty white cheese.

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