California Queso Patacones
Recipe courtesy of Chef Mary Grace Viado
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board
Patacones are made from peeled green plantains and cut crosswise, then fried twice. Also called tostones, these are served in restaurants all over Panama as a side dish for fish or as an appetizer with guacamole, tomato sauce or salsa. In this recipe, it is used as a form of global handheld to highlight Real California Oaxaca cheese, melted and diced.
- 7 or 8 ea Plantains, green
- As needed Sea salt
- 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
- Pinch Kosher salt
- ½ cup ¼-in dice Real California Oaxaca cheese
- ¼ cup ¼-in dice Roma tomatoes
- ¼ cup ¼-in dice red onion
- ¼ cup Roasted corn, chilled
- ¼ cup ¼-in dice avocado
- 1 Tbsp Chopped green onions, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tsp Chopped cilantro
- 3 ea Patacones
- 1 ½ oz Real California Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp Queso Relish
- As needed Julienned green onions
- 1 ea Lime wedge
- For the Patacones: Peel plantains by cutting ¼ in off each end of the plantain. Carefully, without cutting into the plantain itself, slice the skin down one side. Gently pry the peel off with your fingers.
- Cut each plantain into 1- to 1-½ in pieces and place them in a stock pot filled with salted water. Boil the plantains for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you can poke a needle through them. Drain off the water and cool the plantains.
- Spray 2 pieces of wax paper with food release spray. Place a piece of plantain standing on the wax paper, top with the other paper, and use a small sauté pan to flatten it without breaking until it is about 1/4 in thick. Repeat until all the cut plantains are flattened.
- Preheat a fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Fry the plantain rounds in small batches until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain the plantains on a sheet tray lined with paper towels. Season with sea salt on both sides.
- For the Queso Relish: In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar.
- In another bowl, mix together the Oaxaca cheese, tomatoes, onions, corn, avocado, green onions, and cilantro until well combined.
- Pour the vinegar mixture onto the vegetables and mix gently to combine well. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Store, label, and refrigerate.
- For service: Preheat a broiler or salamander. Coat a half sheet tray with food release spray.
- Place 3 patacones on the tray. Top each with at least ½ oz shredded Oaxaca cheese. Place in the broiler/salamander until cheese is completely melted.
- Top each with 2 Tbsp of Queso Relish, piling it high. Garnish with green onions (optional) and serve with a lime wedge on the side.