Friday, March 23, 2012

Eggplant Chips

When we went to the grocery last week, I got another eggplant, and this time, we managed to get to it before it turned on us.

We started with this basic recipe that Peeper has pretty much memorized from the video, but then I tweaked it a bit.

We tried something a little new, and I had Peeper stand on a chair beside me, rather than sitting on the counter. She liked it better, and could help better, but I'm not quite sure how to make it practical, because the workspace between the sink and stove is a corner, and it's hard for us both to fit in there, and still be able to reach the cabinets for ingredients. I'll figure something out, though.

First I put her in front of the sink and she helped me to wash the eggplant, then she helped me to cut it up. I put her hands on the eggplant and knife with my hands over them, and showed her what to do. Of course, I was in control of the knife the whole time, and reminded her that she can only use the Big Sharp Knife when I'm helping.

(I really, really, really want to get her these kid-friendly real knives. Easter Bunny?)

Then Peeper laid out all the slices on the three freakin' pans and painted them with olive oil, "Just like Hannah!"

Then we sprinkled them with salt ("Hannah has sea salt." "Yes, Honey, but Mama only has plain ol' salt. It'll be okay.") and put them in the oven.

After baking the first couple of pans for about ten minutes, I decided that they needed:

To be cut thinner. Some were really thin and that worked well. Others, not so much.
To bake a good bit longer and get more crispity.
To be on a more non-stick surface. I thought the olive oil would do it, but no.
To have more flavor

So, before we put the third pan in the oven, we sprinkled dredged them with a mixture of Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning (or "sneezening" as Peeper was calling it) and garlic (just a little bit, honey, I promise).

When I saw how those came out, I mixed up some more, dredged the not-so-done ones from the first couple of batches and put them back in.


I am not really an eggplant eater, although I really don't have a good reason for it. I couldn't have told you what it tasted like, so I didn't really know if I liked it or not, I suppose.

(I have some memory of Anonymama making eggplant "French fries" when I was a kid, and we ate those.)

The just-salty ones were okay, but the Parmesan ones were really, really good, especially the thinner, crispier ones.

(Hmm, eggplant + Parmesan. Who would've thought?)

The coating, of course, was yummy, but the eggplant itself wasn't bad. I think it was actually sort of sweet.

Who knew?


  1. Eggplant can actually be a bit bitter (you can salt the slices lightly and put them in a strainer and some of the bitter juice will drain out) then rinse them and proceed with the recipe. Yes, they are really good with parmesan, and without lots of oil they do stick to the pan. I always grease the pan with a ton of olive oil first, put the slices on, and then flip each slice over so each side gets some oil. I've never tried to make chips, but I guess the thinner you can slice them, the crispier they will be.

  2. Interesting. Getting them thin enough would be the thing for me. I am wondering about using a food processer, although that would not be as "cook with Peeper" friendly. How does the peel do when it is baked?

  3. It didn't seem bitter to me, so I must have done something right, because I can usually taste the tiniest bit of bitter in a veggie. I'll try that salt and strain thing next time, though.

    The peel was fine on the edges of slices, but some super-super thin ones just sort of turned into a string of peel.

    The thicker ones weren't bad, but I like the thin, crispy texture better.

    The didn't hold up so great in the fridge, though. I think you really want to eat them right away.

    I give it a C+


What say you?