Food Network chef Sunny Anderson really does live up to her name. Watch her cooking on the foodie cable channel and it’s tough not to get caught up in her enthusiasm for whatever she’s got sizzling, mixing, or baking in her kitchen.
The buoyant cook recently posted her recipe for Tostones, the crunchy, salty Latin American and Caribbean side dish with her own serving suggestion that will add a most definite sunniness to your day.
Anderson got her start on Food Network in 2008
The Kitchen co-star arrived at Food Network in the early 2000s ready to infuse her personality and background as a self-called “Army brat” into her cooking style, as she told the cable channel. Her first cooking program on the network in 2008 was How’d That Get on My Plate?
“I think my perspective and angle is everything for everyone,” she said. “I grew up moving around as an Army brat, then I joined the Air Force, so what I hate to do is be put in a corner like Baby.”
Anderson’s co-stars on The Kitchen, now in its 27th season, are Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
“And I really love the idea of someone like Geoffrey Zakarian making something that I would consider something pedestrian for a super chef like him … and then also [me] coming in and maybe doing something a bit fancier than some would expect from me, so I love the extremes in food, and I think they should belong to everyone,” she said. “I just love food.”
Anderson shared her private health battle
The chef opened up to Parade in 2020 about living with ulcerative colitis. She told the outlet that she’s “kept the disease in remission for 20 years,” but doesn’t mind talking about it publicly to raise awareness of the fact that there currently is no cure for the chronic bowel disease.
Diagnosed with the condition while serving the U.S. military overseas in Korea she said, “There are a lot of people like me who know there’s no cure, but we’ve been able to manage it somehow.
“When you get a diagnosis that has to do with your health and food—like diabetes, ulcerative colitis, etc.—you wonder how you’ll eat. But it’s possible. There are so many ways to make recipes work for you.”
Her crunchy Tostones recipe
Anderson’s Tostones recipe, officially called Twice-Fried and Mashed Green Plantains (Tostones) on her Food Network page, calls for simply three ingredients: vegetable or peanut oil, two peeled and cut green plantains, and salt.
The plantain slices are fried in a heavy pot until they turn a toasty brown. They’re then placed between sheets of parchment paper and smashed down with a flat item (like the back of a plate or cup).
The smashed plantains go back in the oil for another few minutes of frying, then salted, and enjoyed.
Her personal serving suggestion? “I’m having a late dinner with these tostones in a rice n steak bowl. Yes, starch on starch,” she wrote in her Instagram post.
Sounds good to us.
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