PLANTAIN CHIPS (about 35 chips)

1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

about 6 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

4 green plantains (1-1/2 pounds total)

Caribbean cilantro salsa to accompany (optional)


1.   Stir together zest, salt and cayenne in a small bowl.

2.   Heat 2 inches of oil in a 5 quart heavy pot over medium heat until it registers 375* on a thermometer.  While oil is heating, cut off ends of plantains.  Score skin of each plantain 5 times lengthwise, avoiding ridges.  Soak in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes and drain.

3.   Peel plantains and slice lengthwise with a Y-shaped peeler or adjustable blade slicer into very thin strips (about 1/16 inch thick).

4.  Fry strips 6 at a time, turning frequently, until golden, 30 to 45 seconds.  Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle immediately with salt mixture.

NOTE:  Plantain chips can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

from Ruth Reichl, The Gourmet Cookbook

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