Tangerine and chili plantain chips

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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.

Le sigh.

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).

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Ingredients:
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

Method:
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.

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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!

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3 thoughts on “Tangerine and chili plantain chips

  1. That looks interesting. I discovered I love fried plantains I Honduras. Cooked any other way…not so much. Seasoning with tangerine zest does sound appealing.

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