I think all 3 recipes I’m posting this week have little travel stories attached to them. I got the idea for these chips from a trip to Granada, Spain. I went for a weekend and ate my weight in Tapas, so obviously I loved every moment of it.
There’s an amazing law of sorts in Granada that came about from workers not being able to afford both a drink and a meal at lunch and just opting for the drink. Unsurprisingly this made the pretty inefficientnworkersnin the afternoon. Rather than banning drinking (it’s Spain, don’t be ridiculous!) they simply decided that all bars must serve a tapa with every drink they served. This way people would eat as they drank and not get so loose they were unable to be productive in the afternoon. Genius, right? This I still how things are done in Granada so for every Tito de verano, cerveza and whatever other alcoholic beverage you order you will be served Tapas. At no charge. Bliss!
I tried so many delicious things, ratatouille type things, Jamon, fried sardines, prawns, vongole, aged cheese drizzled in honey, countless olives and so on. But my favourite was the deep fried eggplant chips drizzled in dark and sticky cane honey I had at Casa Julio.
The eggplant was thinly sliced and fried crisp and the honey was the perfect accompaniment. Sweet with a slightly acidic edge from the deep caramel colour. Unfotunately for me I’m not really supposed to eat honey so it’s not the ideal stack for my fructose sensitive body. So when I got home I started mucking around with making it myself using maple syrup instead of honey. Maple syrup is far too funny though and I new I need to make it dark and sticky and add really wanted some sharpness to it. Hey there balsamic vinegar! Turns out reducing these two simple condiments for a little bit makes the most amazing sauce to drizzle over the crisp eggplant.
I decided to avoid the deep fryer and bake the chips instead then just finish them off briefly in the pan to get them really golden. So yum!!!
serves 4 as Tapas
1 small- medium eggplant
1/2 cup chickpea flour (may need more if your eggplant is on the larger side)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Remove the skin of the eggplant with a sharp knife. Cut in half then slice each half into semi circle ‘chips’ a couple of mm thick. Sprinkle with salt and toss. In a large bowl combine with sifted chickpea flour. Toss to coat. You just want a thin dusting, a couple of thicker spots are fine!
Line 2 oven trays with baking aper and place eggplant in a single layer on the trays. Bake for 10 minutes.
Combine maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer until thicken and reduced by 1/3. Keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy based fry pan and briefly pan fry the eggplant in batches. Do not coat the pan and just fry 1 minute each side to make sure there is no raw flour.
Arrange on a plate and drizzle generously with the sauce. Eat immediately!