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California Queso Patacones



– 1 Tbsp Chopped green onions, sliced in half lengthwise – 1 tsp Chopped cilantro Patacones: – 7 or 8 ea Plantains, green – As needed Sea salt Queso Relish: – 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar – 1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice – 1 Tbsp Sugar – 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes – Pinch Kosher salt – 1/2 cup 1/4-in dice Real California Oaxaca cheese – 1/4 cup 1/4-in dice Roma tomatoes – 1/4 cup 1/4-in dice red onion – 1/4 cup Roasted corn, chilled – 1/4 cup 1/4-in dice avocado Per serving: – 3 ea Patacones – 1 1/2 oz Real California Oaxaca cheese, shredded – 2 Tbsp Queso Relish – As needed Julienned green onions – 1 ea Lime wedge
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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, they are used as a form of global handheld to highlight Real California Oaxaca cheese, melted and diced.

Servings: 20-24

1. For the Patacones: Peel plantains by cutting 1/4 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.

2. Cut each plantain into 1- to 1 1/2-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.

3. 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.

4. Preheat a fryer to 350 degrees F.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. In another bowl, mix together the Oaxaca cheese, tomatoes, onions, corn, avocado, green onions, and cilantro until well combined.

8. Pour the vinegar mixture onto the vegetables and mix gently to combine well. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

9. Store, label, and refrigerate.

10. For service: Preheat a broiler or salamander. Coat a half sheet tray with food-release spray.

11. Place 3 patacones on the tray. Top each with at least 1/2 oz shredded Oaxaca cheese. Place in the broiler/salamander until cheese is completely melted.

12. 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.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Mary Grace Viado, Village Tavern