Fried Plantain Chips with Avocado Kiwi Salsa
Today is an unseasonably warm day in Virginia. So warm that I can finally wear my flip flops outside! Although I know it won’t last long, I’m comforted by the fact that spring will be here soon. To hold you over until then, I thought I’d share this warm weather recipe from my 24×24 party last month. I’ve received several requests for the recipe and figured this warm, sunny day would be the perfect day to share it.
When I was searching for recipes for the 24×24 party, I knew I wanted some type of chips and salsa. I wanted it to have some type of tropical flair and was so excited when I came across these recipes on Epicurious. They turned out to be perfect for each other, and they were both big hits at the party. Such big hits, in fact, that they were gone when I went back for seconds. The super crunchy plantain chips are sprinkled with a combination of smoky seasoned salt, cayenne and lime zest, giving them a bright and spicy kick. The original recipe called for regular salt, but I couldn’t resist subbing in my favorite smoky seasoned salt from Penzey’s. I’ll admit – the plantain chips were so good that Eric and I both got a little carried away when taste-testing them before the party. The salsa gets tons of flavor and texture from the avocado, kiwis, red onion and jalapeno. I was a little unsure about the avocado and fruit combination, but this salsa turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve ever made. It’s incredibly refreshing, and we loved it so much that we made it again a week later. I think it would be great served over grilled fish, too. This would make a great appetizer for a spring or summer cookout, and I know we’ll be making it several more times once the warm weather (permanently) arrives.
Also, thank you so much for all the wonderful comments you left about your most memorable dessert! Eric and I both enjoyed reading through all of them. The winner is Diana, who said, “The best dessert I ever had was a molten chocolate cake at Maria Marie in Mexico. So delicious, it was 3 years ago and I’m still in love with it.” Congratulations, Diana! I’ll be emailing you your Bake it Pretty gift certificate soon.
- YIELD: about 1½ cups
For the chips:
1½ teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest
1½ teaspoons seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
6 cups vegetable oil
4 very green plantains (about 1½ pounds)
For the salsa:
2 kiwis, peeled and roughly chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, combine zest, salt and cayenne. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels and set near stovetop.
Heat oil in a 5-quart pot set over medium to medium-high heat until a thermometer reaches 375º. While oil is heating, cut ends off plantains and use a sharp knife to score each plantain lengthwise 5 times. Place into a bowl of hot water and soak for 5 minutes before peeling.
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice the plantains into very thin (about ⅛-inch) strips. Fry strips 6 at a time, turning frequently, for 30 to 45 seconds or until golden. Remove using tongs or a spider and sprinkle immediately with salt mixture.
Plantain chips can be made several hours in advance. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.
For the salsa, gently toss together all ingredients, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately. (Since I was making this for a party, I tossed together everything except for the avocado and added it a few minutes before guests arrived.)