I saw some great looking sweet potatoes shaped like bananas in the produce section yesterday and thought they were so cute... I bought them. The sweet potatoes really were too cute to puree and didn't look like they wanted to be baked. They cried out "Tostones! " instead.
Tostones are a tasty little latin snack food that are traditionally made with fried plantains and topped with anything from chorizo to fruit salsas. Because the tostones are starchy and slightly sweet, they get crispy on the outside but stay very soft and fluffy on the inside. Hmmm... starchy? slightly sweet? It sounds like sweet potatoes will fit right in and make terrific tostones.
You can serve sweet potato tostones as an hors d' hoeuvre, first course or side dish. They can even be served alone. But, since I love the flavors of cranberries, pecans and feta cheese with my sweet potatoes, I put them together in a salad with baby arugula to top my tostones with. The tart cranberries and acidic vinaigrette are a great match with the crispy, fried sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato Tostones
3 sweet potatoes
chipotle powder (optional)
salt and pepper
Cranberry, Pecan and Feta Salad with Arugula and Cranberry Vinaigrette Recipe to follow
Slice the sweet potatoes into ¾ inch slices. Peel the skins off with a pairing knife. Place slices in a microwaveable dish. Sprinkle with salt. For tostones with a little kick, add a pinch of chipotle powder to each slice, if desired. Microwave on high until fork tender but still a little firm, about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not over cook or they will fall apart when frying.
Make little slices down the side of the tostones before smashing so they will flatten evenly. Slightly smash each sweet potato slice with the bottom of a pan, a plate, or even the heel of your hand. Don't get them too flat, they will be hard to fry.
Heat ¼ inch of canola oil in a saute pan. Fry sweet potato slices over medium high heat until golden brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Drain tostones on a paper towel.
Season well with salt while they are still hot.
3 tablespoons cranberry juice concentrate
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup baby arugula leaves
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cranberry juice, vinegar and mustard together. Whisk in the canola oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly dress the arugula by drizzling a little of the vinaigrette over the leaves and toss. Place a few leaves on sweet potato tostones. Mix together cranberries, pecans and crumbled feta. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top each tostones with some of the mixture.
Tostones are great as an hors d'oeuvre, first course or even a side dish.
Here are some other ways to top your sweet potato tostones: