Eggplant overload? SweetMoussaka, caponata, baba ghanoush – what else to do with all that eggplant? Bring out the deep fryer for a preparation you won’t soon forget: sweet eggplant crisps from the Yucatán.
I was visiting the gardens at Bowood Farms recently when horticultural manager Ellen Barredo mentioned her Yucatecan mother-in-law’s berenjena, sprinked with sugar. Now everyone will have a use for those CSA basket beauties.
The standard fat purple eggplant is traditional, although you could use the variously colored or long, skinny varieties. Don’t bother to peel – the peel holds the slices together and enhances the appearance of the finished crisp. Cut into thin, even rounds, and use immediately or toss into salted cold water to prevent discoloration while you work. Drain and dry before frying.
Heat several inches of oil in a deep fryer or fry pan. Barredo uses corn oil, but any neutral oil will do. When the oil is hot but not smoking, coat several of the eggplant slices with flour and carefully drop them into the hot oil. Fry until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels. While the crisps are still hot, shake granulated sugar over to coat. Let sit for a few minutes to crisp. Repeat until you’ve used up all the eggplant slices. Eat immediately.