Find green, firm, fresh plantains. If the plantains are large, you will get about 5 patacones from each plantain, enough for one hungry person.
Wash them and pat them dry with paper towels.
*This is probably the most important step. If you use yellowish plantains the patacones won't be crunchy. Some plantains are really curved, that will only make the peeling of the skin more difficult, so try to get them as straight as possible.
With a sharp knife take the end tips off the plantains, and then cut it in half. Make a lengthwise cut of the green skin, make sure it is only deep enough to cut the skin. Then, with the help of the knife loosen the skin in one side and pull with your hand in order to take it all off. Remove any remaining skin with the knife.
Once you have peeled the plantains, cut them in 1 inch pieces.
Heat oil in large heavy saucepan.
Add plantains, in batches; fry 2 minutes.
Remove them from the hot oil and smash each plantain with the bottom of heavy pan or with a rolling pin.
Return plantain slices to the hot oil; fry an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
Add salt to taste and serve
*Portions: 1 large green plantain (5 patacones) = 1 person