(Hot plantain chips)
4 ripe plantains
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
Peel plantains. Slice plantains into round slices no wider than 1/4″. Dice garlic. Put round plantain slices, garlic, honey, cayenne, ginger, salt, and oil into mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with hands until spices coat plantain slices.
Put oil in skillet. There should be enough to cover plantain slices. Heat skillet to 350 degrees. Put a tiny bit of plantain in skillet. Oil is hot enough when the plantain bit starts to dance around. Carefully put plantains slices in hot oil. (Getting splattered by hot oil hurts quite a bit. May I suggest using the skillet lid as a shield between yourself and the oil.) To ensure even cooking of the plantains, make sure that none of the plantain slices touch each other. You will most likely need to cook the plantain slices in batches.
Fry each batch at 350 degrees for 3 minutes. Turn the slices over and fry for 3 minutes more. Remove slices with spoon with holes in it. Put slices in bowl. Remove remaining oil with paper towel. Repeat for each batch.
Serve hot to hungry quests.
1) A search of fun facts about Ghana reveals that its currency is the Cedi. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve enlivened a party by relating that gem. Well yes, I can.
2) The plantains is not a happening fruit, not like its exciting cousin, the banana. For example, did you know the plantains is part of the genus Musa in the Musacaea family of flowering plants? Now hold on to something sturdy before reading further. Alhough plantains grow as tall as trees, they’re only gigantic herbs because they have succulent stems instead of trunks. I’d go on but my heart is already racing like a jackrabbit.
4) Even though the plantain looks a lot like a banana, people never think of the sexual implications of eating or dreaming a plantain.
5) But it could have been different if the great psychiatrist Sigmund Freud had ever traveled to Ghana. Then he would have said, “Sometimes a plantain is just a plantain.”
6) But as any historian will say, you can only rewrite history so far. The superior slipping properties of the banana over the plantain ensued the complete dominance of the banana in silent films and in early talking motion pictures. We saw bananas. We ate bananas.
7) It’s the same thing with tuna and lutefisk. People eat tuna over lutefisk because we only see tuna being eaten on television and in movies, never lutefisk.
8) Okay, we also never eat lutefisk because it looks bad, tastes bad and smells. Indeed, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to learn that many secret governmental agencies around the world employ lutefisk as an enhanced interrogation technique.
9) Have a plantain instead.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.