plantain chips with fast and easy guacamole

at mojitos restaurant, just up the street from where we live, they serve a famed appetizer of plantain chips with guacamole. it's that kind of starter that makes the whole table happy . . . people dipping in and testifying their satisfaction with guttural sounds instead of words. last time we shared a plate with friends at the peppy cantina, i felt the rise of a challenge to make them in my own kitchen.
       these chips nosh up no hint of sweetness like with bananas because green plantains are more dense and starchy. surprisingly easy to make with a mandoline slicer, plantain chips are light and crisp but strong enough to use as a spoon for the cool, buttery guacamole. you can make them ahead and then re-toast them in the oven to present your own perky-party at home.
use a mandoline slicer to cut thin plantain strips that fry into light chips for dipping.
plantain chips (serves 6 as an appetizer)
• 4 green plantains
• high heat safflower oil
• sea salt
1. set several sheets of paper towels onto the counter.
2. cut the ends off of the plantains and score the skins several times down the vertical sides. peel the skins off.
3. set the mandoline slicer to the thinnest setting or 1/32 of an inch. slice the plantains the long way using the safety guide.
4. heat about 1 inch or so of safflower oil in the bottom of a large heavy pot to just under 400 degrees (i used a 5-quart cast iron dutch oven).
5. put 5 or 6 slices of plantains into the hot oil and let them sizzle until they turn rigid– about 10 to 15 seconds. using tongs turn them and be careful not to let turn dark brown, but a few of the ends may turn a hint of brown.
6. remove the fried plantain chips to the paper towels, and repeat until all of them are cooked.
7. sprinkle the plantain chips with a little sea salt.
8. before serving, put the plantain chips in oven proof bake ware and heat them in the oven at 375 degrees, turning them a few times so that all of the chips are heated through.
9. serve with guacamole, hummus or chutney and goat cheese.

fast and easy guacamole
• 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, roughly chopped
• 2 radishes, minced
• lemon juice
• pinch of coriander
• pinch or two of smoked chipotle chili powder
• salt
put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and smash/stir together with a potato masher or a large fork.

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