Chifles (green plantain chips). A great vegan, gluten-free, paleo, aip, whole 30, snack!
So I’ve written before about my love of chifles. As a kid, I would buy them from the corner bodega and as of late, I was buying them from Trader Joes. What wasn’t sitting right with me though was the fact that they are cooked in safflower or sunflower oil. These oils are not healthy despite marketing to try to make it them seem so. They are extremely high in PUFAs and omega 6 oils which are detrimental to your health when there are no, or little, omega 3s to balance them out. And plus, since when is it acceptable to label the two as interchangeable? I am seeing this everywhere. It is always sunflower and/or safflower oil. ‘Umm, we don’t exactly know what’s in here but it’s sorta, kinda something to this effect…’ Both are bad but safflower is even worse and does not have the same composition or made from the same plant. WTF? How is that okay, FDA?! Check your labels, folks.
What you’ll need:
Platanos verde (green plantains)
The green plantain or platano verde.
So how do you peel these suckers?
It’s not a banana. These guys are hard and tough and do not want to come out!
Using a sharp knife, cut off each tip on both ends and then cut the peel lengthwise, trying not to cut the actual fruit. Do this on three sides.
Next, stick your finger under the peel. That peel wants to stay, so you really need to wedge you finger in. Then you can start lifting and pulling the peel away from the fruit.
Next, slice the platano. Chifles are thin so that’s what you’re going far. If you have a mandolin, have at it on a moderate setting! Or just do a thin hand cut as I do. Check out the pick above to get a sense of thickness. A cut thicker than that is getting into tostones territory, which is a bit of a different process and gives you a different texture. I’ll post a tutorial on that one soon. I love, love those as well with salt, olive oil and chopped garlic or pesto or chimichurri!
So next, I’m frying these in olive oil and just prefer to use a lighter hand than a deep fry. I use as little as possible to get the chips where I need them. So coat a skillet maybe with a 1/4 cup. Keep the heat on medium and fry in batches (so not to crowd the pan) for a few minutes. Take a peak at a few and check if golden brown. Flip when they are and fry the other side. They should be crunchy all the way through like a firm potato chip.
Put on a plate with paper towel to get some of the excess oil off. Sprinkle with a salt while they are hot so it sticks.
Eat alone or serve with a number of yummy dips like garlic oil or chimichurri. Also great with guac! I’ll post those soon, too!