If I could, I would choose to be bi-coastal, traveling from the west coast to the east coast whenever I could. Specifically, I would want homes in both Los Angeles and New York, switching from one home to the other whenever I pleased. I’m still waiting for the day when I return to the east, but until then I will have to live vicariously through television shows and movies that are filmed there. One of my favorite shows, Unique Eats, on the Cooking Channel, showcases many restaurants around the world, many from New York. I can now say that I have added at least 15 more restaurants that I want to try in the city because of the show. One of those restaurants is a Spanish themed eatery called Caracas Arepa Bar. They are known for their arepas, but one appetizer in particular caught my eye. Called tostones mochimeros, the dish consists of fried plantains with a mojito mayo sauce and a generous amount of cheese. Since it looked easy enough to make at home, I made what I thought it would taste like. Just another way to get a little bit of New York in my own home!
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp mint, chopped
- 1 tsp lime juice
- zest of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp jalapeno, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 large green plantain
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija
- Blend together mayo - jalapeno until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Peel plantain and slice 1/4 inch thick slices on a bias. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the plantains and pan-fry until golden-brown on both sides. Remove from heat.
- Top each plantain slice with a dollop of mojito mayo. Sprinkle with crumbled cotija. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I searched and searched for the recipe for Caracas’ tostones mochimeros recipe, but since it was unavailable online, I put together what I imagine it to be.
The base of the appetizer is a green plantain. Green plantains are firm, starchy and used for tostones while the more ripened black plantains are sweeter and softer. I love ripened plantains anytime of the day but tostones are great too. If you never had a plantain before, look for what appears to be a banana but larger and with a thicker skin.
I like to think of the tostones as the “crostini” of the appetizer, the replacement for the bread if you will. I read restaurant reviews that described the tostone as crunchy, but I chose to slice my plantain a little on the thick side.
Pan-frying is the only cooking involved in this recipe, making this appetizer easy-peasy to put together. Top with a generous amount of cotija and drizzle with mojito mayo to complete the bite.
These tostones mochimeros were excellent! The salty cheese with the starchy plantains and minty sauce created a lovely appetizer that would please any palate. Well done Caracas Arepa!
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