Though it's related to the banana and looks much the same, plantain has a starchier texture and tastes more like a potato. It can be found at any Latin American or Caribbean greengrocery and comes in three grades: unripe (green), ripe (yellow) and very ripe (dark). The riper, the sweeter. Plantains should only be peeled just before they're cooked. One of the most popular ways to use this versatile veg is in tostones. Cut three green plantains into half-inch-thick loonie-size slices. Heat two inches of vegetable or peanut oil in a skillet or heavy pot to 375ºF. Deep-fry about eight slices at a time, turning once, until both sides are golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Place the plantain discs between two sheets of waxed paper and pound them with a mallet or flatten them with a rolling pin until they're about an eighth of an inch thick. Reheat the oil and deep-fry the plantains again -- four at a time -- for about two minutes a side. Remove and drain on paper towels once more. Serve hot, with an even hotter salsa.