Platanitos (Plantain Chips)
Also known as “galleticas de platano verde” and “mariquitas de platano”, platanitos have become a popular snack treat in America, rivaling potato chips and tortilla chips. As tasty as the store bought ones are, they are not nearly as good as homemade ones.
Yield: A big basket of chips (snacks for about 12)
- 4 large green plantains
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- salt or garlic salt
- Peel the plantains
- Using a box grater, mandolin-type slicer or food processor fitted with a slicing blade, slice the plantain into dozens of very thin round slices and sit aside.
- In a deep fryer or in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 4 inches of oil to 350° or until a plantain slice sizzles when it hits the oil.
- Fry in small batches; drop the plantain slices into the oil and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove the chips from oil with a slotted spoon or frying basket and drain on paper toweling and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve with a favorite salsa or all by themselves.
If you have a mandolin, try slicing the plantains the long way to make long, beautiful curling chips. They make amazing display on a buffet table.
HELPFUL HINT: Getting the peel off of a really green fresh plantain can be a difficult and time consuming task, especially if you’ve never attempted it before. First, fill your kitchen sink with a few inches of very hot water. Next, cut both ends off of the plantain, and make 3 or 4 lengthwise slashes through the plantain’s skin with a sharp knife careful to cut through the peel, but not into the plantain itself. Then drop it into the hot water and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Repeat with each plantain. Now, remove a plantain from the water, and begin removing the peel by inserting your thumb into one of the scored areas and lifting the peel.
Note: Peeling plantains can stain your fingers. To avoid staining your fingers, wear a plastic glove or remove the peel under water.
For a lighter, healthy snack, in a large plastic bag, toss the plantain rounds with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt or garlic salt. Spread the rounds in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet and bake in a 400° oven for 10 minutes or until crisp.