I can’t tell you the first time I ever had tostones — aka crispy, golden plantain deliciousness — but I do recall the first time I fell in love with them. It was while I was eating at a sidewalk table at Cafe Habana in New York City and I was doing my best to channel J-Lo’s style a la her If You Had My Love video.
It was an era when my main concern was how many clubs I could get on the VIP list for and which shoes would be best for dancing until the wee hours. Cafe Habana was where I’d regularly meet my girls to recap the drama of the night before, to refuel with high octane Cafe Con Leche, and to nosh on plates upon plates of Cuban sandwiches, Mexican-style corn, and, of course, tostones.
So, when I saw that my friend Gaby Dalkin’s cookbook, Absolutely Avocados, had a recipe for tostones, well, I was there in a major way. This recipe makes crisp, golden tostones that rival the best of Cafe Habana but takes it one step further by topping it with an avocado, mango, red onion mix that makes tostones even more addictive.