Patacones Ticos (Costa Rican fried plantains)

Someone requested this some time ago. Here's a recipe for fried plantains, or what we call here in Costa Rica "Patacones." It's from RecipeZaar and the recipe belongs to someone who spent a semester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. As this person says patacones are a delicious snack that go really well with frijoles molidos (refried beans, basically).

Note from recipe author: Plantains can be purchased at most grocery stores in the produce section...they look like bananas, but DO NOT try to eat them like bananas - they are NOT the same thing!

Ingredients:
2 green plantains
1 cup vegetable oil
1 pinch salt, to taste

Preparation:
1. Peel plantains completely.
2. Slice Plantains into 1/2 inch rounds.
3. Heat oil in sauce pan until almost boiling.
4. CAREFULLY place a handful of plantain rounds into hot oil, leaving them in until light brown, about 2 minutes.
5. CAREFULLY remove plantain rounds from hot oil with slotted spoon (preferably metal) and place on a cutting board covered in parchment paper.
6. Plantain pieces should be on only half of the parchment paper. Fold second half of parchment paper over them, and with a second board or other hard, flat surface press firmly on the paper-covered plantain rounds.
*This can also be done using a metal tortilla press, if available. What I use is like a tortilla press, but is specifically designed for patacones, and I bought it at a supermarket in Costa Rica.
7. The rounds should now be smushed-looking, yet still intact.
8. With slotted spoon, replace pieces of plantain in the oil until golden brown.
9. Remove pieces with slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Pieces should be slightly crispy.
10. Repeat with another handful of rounds, until all have been cooked.
11. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.

-Dip in warm refried beans, or also good with ceviche.
-Enjoy!

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