Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Adventures in Vegetarianism: Baked Eggplant Chips

My most recent veggie creation, baked eggplant chips!

Normally I frown upon anything that has the word 'baked', where the word 'fried' is supposed be. Generally speaking this switcheroo happens when some near anorexic "health guru" is trying to pretend that "they taste the same if not better than french fries!" No they don't, and neither do these. My eggplant chips aren't gonna replace a good potato chip, but they are yummy independent of any comparison.

They are crispy, and salty. I dip them in tzaziki, and enjoy the flavor explosion. I will eat two eggplants' worth for dinner. Don't judge me. It's less sad than when I was just spooning peanut butter into my mouth for several hours and called that a meal.

What you'll need: Tzaziki Sauce
1 cup Yogurt
1/2 a Cucumber grated
Some Dill chopped
A little Lemon juice (I used red wine vinegar because it was what I had on hand)

I grated the cucumber because I don't like big chunks of it in the sauce, and I think it better distributes the cucumber flavor. The dill is kinda optional since it's not widely available in Paraguay. I also put my Cavender's season salt in, but that was a care package item, so use was you can to make it yummy. The cucumber, the yogurt, and the acid are the important part.
Mix together ingredients to taste.

What you'll need: Chips
A couple medium sized Eggplants sliced THIN
Cavender's Greak Seasoning salt
4 glugs of Olive oil
A baking sheet or two.

Slice the eggplant into round disks as thin as you can. Not paper thin, a little more than that, but thin. This would be a great job for a mandolin if I had one. Salt the eggplant and set aside for 1 hour to overnight. Drain the liquid that the eggplant release, and dry well.

As thin as that bitch who thinks these taste like pringles.
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees, or whatever temp looks right on your Celsius oven. Pretty hot but not broiling. How 'bout that? Those are the only two setting on my oven anyways

Coat Eggplant with Olive oil and Sprinkle with Cavender's seasoning salt. You could use regular salt or a mixture of seasoning. Eggplant is a flavor sponge so just use what you think will taste good. I wonder what a red wine marniade might do. Salt and Vinegar eggplant chips?  Worth investigating.

Place disks on the baking sheet in single layer. NO OVERLAP. You want each disk to touch the pan. You might have to cook this in batches.

Place in oven for 13-15 minutes. Take out and flip each disk. The side touching the pan should be golden brown. Place back in oven for another 7-10 minutes.  Keep a good nose out, because these go from golden brown to burnt quickly.

Remove from oven and enjoy! They should be crispy but not crunchy, unless you burnt them. I cut these by hand so the thicker ones I cut are still tender in the middle, but they are also yummy. The flavor is on point, and the juxtaposition of textures is fun. I really hope eggplants have some nutritional value considering the number I ate last night. Hell with it, I've never cared before, right?