Plantain Chips With Lemon Pepper Aioli

Whole 30 comfort food. It's a category, you know. Although a very small, narrow, diminutive category. The world, in South-eastern Virginia, is quiet. "Bomb cyclone," "snowpocalypse," "blizzard." All of them terms for the reason the world hushed when the snow began to fall. Of course it didn't stay quiet - everyone crammed the roads and descended en masse on the grocery store - but once we were all settled in, silence reigned and has held sway ever since. My dad is still out plowing snow, 40-some hours later. The rest of us are solidly stuck where we are. We went out for a walk yesterday and again this morning, trying to read a story in the snow-tracks and succeeded in getting happily chilled. By now the snow on the road has oozed and packed into a solid ice-cake, rendering us pretty much immobile, though we might hazard it in pursuit of coffee later on.

Adjusting to eating the Whole 30 way hasn't been terribly terribly difficult. There were headaches the first couple of days, then cravings ranging from cheesecake to grilled cheese sandwiches, but we survived the snow without defecting! Most of my cravings have arisen from lack of the distinct crunch that belongs to toasted bread, tortilla chips, wheat crackers, and the like. Vegetables are crunchy, potatoes can be crispy, but none of them have the crunch I was looking for. Then I learned about plantain chips.
"Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope."
I wasn't sure what to expect, having never eaten a plantain, but I went ahead and heated half an inch of precious coconut oil in a pan, sliced the plantain thin, and dropped it in. When the little coins turned to gold and got scooped out, I tossed them with a sprinkle of sea salt and tasted one. Guys, game-changer. They crunched! They actually crunched! Vaguely sweet with the perfect texture and saltiness. Exactly what you crave while eating this way without going entirely off-plan. Sure, plantain chips aren't supposed to make up the majority of your diet here, but it's certainly an ideal Whole 30 treat. When paired up with a homemade lemon-pepper aioli (and a bunless burger with prosciutto and avocado) these plantain chips make for the most amazing, indulgent, satisfying Whole 30 meal you ever did see. Here's to surviving the snow and staying on-track.

Plantain Chips with Lemon Pepper Aioli
serves 4
-for chips-
2 plantains, sliced thin
1 cup coconut oil
sea salt

-for aioli-
1/2 cup Whole 30-approved (or homemade) mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat coconut oil in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until a plantain slice dropped in begins to fry. Add other plantain slices (not too many at a time) and cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, salt, and allow to cool.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients for the aioli till smooth, and serve in a small dish for dipping, or drizzle over the burger!

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