Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fried Plantain Chips - The answer to Caribbean French Fries

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Here's an oldie but a goodie around my old stomping grounds in St Thomas, US Virgin Isles

Plantains... They look like bananas... They cook like sweet potatoes.

Lots of BBQ's being planned these days, and more than one is going to have a tropical theme.  These come together fast (only one ingredient plus frying oil), have an unexpected unique taste, and best of all, with a little za za zing added will satisfy the pickiest of eaters...


The plantain is the one on the left.

Around these parts, the green ones are called.... Green Plantains.  The yellow ones are called...





Nope, wrong... The yellow ones are called ripe plantains.  Much as you might think I want to cook with ripe plantains, for this recipe, we are going to use green ones.  They are very stiff, hard.  They will feel like a potato (and cook like one).  If you should happen to grab a ripe plantain, they are terrific in a little butter with sugar (caramelized).

But let's say you have a green one...

Just peal (not as easy as it sounds).  Slice off the two ends, cut into the peal and cut a slit the length of the fruit.  And work around till all the peal is released.  MUCH stiffer than a banana, but it will come off.

Next, slice into chips (you can also slice into French fry shapes).  Slice them fairly thin, about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat up some Canola Oil over medium heat, and dump the chips in...

It takes about 5 minutes for them to get fully cooked.  You don not want to crowd them, so I fry up just just the chips that come from one plantain at a time.  You can see them just start to turn brown around the edges.

Remove with a slotted spoon, dry them with a paper towel.  They will have a crispness, like a thick cut potato chip.  But the center will be soft and chewy like a baked potato.  A terrific contrast.

I do a quick egg wash with a beaten egg so the salt mixture will stick...

The lime zest Salt mixture is the key to set your chips apart.  It has a tropical zing and adds a wonderful look to the final dish...

Easy mix... Equal parts sea salt and zest from a lime.

Easy Peasy... but will make your party tropical themed party memorable.  These go great with burgers!

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