These crispy, cheese-stuffed bites are the kind of Mexican comfort food chef Sue Torres cooks. "You can stuff the mashed plantains with lots of fun things, like chorizo, beans or shrimp," she says. The key to their success is finding ultraripe plantains, "so black and soft and sweet that you think you should throw them out." As with bananas, underripe plantains ripen more quickly when placed in a paper bag.
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the plantains and cook over moderately high heat until the skins split and the plantains are very tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Peel the plantains. Transfer them to a bowl and mash well. Stir in the bread crumbs and salt and let cool.
Line a platter with plastic wrap. Form the plantain dough into 12 portions and roll into balls. Poke a hole in the center of each ball and fill it with 1 teaspoon of the goat cheese. Seal the holes and reroll the dough into balls. Set the gorditas on the platter.
In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 350°. Add the gorditas and fry until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate. Serve the gorditas with the Spicy Tomato Sauce, Pickled Red Onions and sour cream.
The gorditas can be prepared through Step 2, covered and then refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before frying.
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