[Photograph: Paige Green]

I've always liked plantain chips. The fruit's inherent sweetness is a natural fit for the fryer, giving the resulting snack far more interest than plain old salty potatoes. Bryant Terry's plantain chips in his new cookbook, Afro-Vegan, are even better. He fries thin slices of green plantains in coconut oil (yes, it's expensive, but worth it), and then immediately coats the hot chips with a flurry of fiery creole spice. The lingering oil fuses the spice to the plantains, making sure that every bite gets a burst of heat.

Why I picked this recipe: Plantain chips are one of my favorite snacks. Add a spicy topping, and I'm in heaven.

What worked: Consider me devoted to the combination of plantains and creole spice.

What didn't: It took me longer than 1 minute of frying for the plantains to brown and crisp. Plan for an extra minute or two.

Suggested tweaks: Make sure you're using refined coconut oil for frying, as it has a higher smoke point than the unrefined version. I'd suggest keeping the first batches of chips warm in a 200-degree oven while you fry the remaining plantains. If you don't keep brown paper bags around the house, you can toss the plantains in the spice mix in a large bowl, working quickly to prevent the spices from clumping.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Afro-Vegan to give away this week.


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