TOSTONES WITH SPICY PINEAPPLE SYRUP
SERVES 8 ACTIVE 30 min. TOTAL 30 min.
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 red Fresno chile, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsweetened pineapple juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 qt. peanut oil
1 lb. ripe plantains, peeled and diagonally cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices
1/4 tsp. ground cumin 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Combine sugar, chile, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, 1 cup of the pineapple juice, and ½ teaspoon of the salt in a blender, and process on high until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
2. Transfer pineapple mixture to a saucepan, and simmer over medium-high 5 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons pineapple juice in a small bowl. Whisk cornstarch mixture into pineapple mixture in saucepan, and simmer 15 seconds. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl, and chill, uncovered, until cool, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high to 300°F.
4. Add plantain pieces to hot oil. Cook, stirring often, until plantains are slightly browned around the edges and floating, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from oil, and drain on paper towels. Increase oil temperature to 350°F.
5. Using bottom of 1-cup measure or a smooth mallet, gently mash plantain pieces to a ¼-inch thickness, taking care not to break them. Carefully return plantains to hot oil, and fry until browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer plantains to a medium bowl lined with paper towels. Stir together cumin, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Toss together plantains and desired amount of cumin mixture, and serve with sauce and lime wedges.