There is some sort of sporting event happening on Sunday. This Matron is no fan of football, but these plantain chips would make a great finger food for a sporting event party of some kind. Not that anyone has parties just to watch someone else play a game on television…
A while back I sent Huzzybee to the grocery store for bananas so I could make Bananas Krakken (recipe coming soon) and he returned home with a large bunch of green plantains.
So, never having cooked with plantain before, I decided to go with something straightforward: tangerine and chili plantain chips. I have never done this before, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but the results were delish, and also very loud (I can hear Huzzybee’s crunching from the next room).
5 green plantains
1 medium tangerine
3/4 teaspoon powdered cayenne
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Vegetable oil for frying
A metal slotted spoon and some paper towels
First, have everything prepared ahead of time with your utensils ready because you will need to work fast. Spread some paper towels on a plate and set aside. Have your slotted spoon close at hand.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Zest the tangerine and spread the zest on a baking sheet and put it in your warm oven for about 7 minutes, which should be enough time for it to dry and become brittle. Remove the zest and combine in a small dish with the cayenne and salt. Score the plantain skins lengthwise with a sharp knife a few times and let the whole fruit (skin and all) soak in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. Remove and pat dry with a clean towel. Peel the skins and slice the plantains lengthwise into long, thin strips (about 1/4″ thick is ideal). Note: I found it easier to leave half the skin on each plantain so I could get a good grip on the slippery little bastards.
Heat about 6 cups of veggie oil in a pan on your stove’s second-highest setting. The amount of oil isn’t really that important, but you need enough so that you can immerse the plantain slices. Put a few strips into the oil so that they don’t touch each other and let them cook until they start to turn a rich, golden color. Remove carefully with the slotted spoon and place the chips on the paper towel. Immediately sprinkle the finished chips with a pinch of spicy-tangerine-salt. Repeat the frying and sprinkling until all of the plantain strips have been cooked. Serve while they are still warm.
I tried a few other spice combinations and like the spicy tangerine best. I even tried brown sugar and cinnamon, which tasted and smelled INCREDIBLE, but the sugar caused the chips to become soggy after about an hour. I encourage you to try different combinations, and if you strike on anything particularly transcendent please let us know about it in the comments!