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Crisp Eggplant Chips

6 TBS confectioners sugar

6 TBS cornstarch

1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs-usually available in the Asian section of the grocery store but you can substitute other bread crumbs)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 lb or more thin Asian eggplant (2 inches in diameter, about 2 medium, trimmed)

about 3 cups vegetable oil (I always use peanut oil for frying)


Stir together confectioners sugar, cornstarch, panko, and salt ina wide shallow bowl.  Cut eggplant crosswise into paper-thin rounds with slicer.  Fill a deep 10- to 12- inch heavy skillet (preferably cast iron-I use my cast iron dutch oven so as to avoid too much splash) halfway with oil and heat over moderate heat until it register 360 degrees on a thermometer (I don't know if this is a problem with my thermometer or what, but 360 burns mine so I fry at 280, but it could just be my thermometer).  Dredge a fourth of slices in cornstarch mixture, tossing until thoroughly coated and lightly pressing to help coating adhere, then gently shake in sieve to remove excess.  Fry coated slices in oil, turning and separating with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer eggplant chips with a wire-mesh or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then season lightly with salt.  Coat and fy remaining slices in 3 batches in the same manner, returning oil to 360 degrees between batches.  Chips will crisp as they cool.  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from "Gourmet" magazine September 2006 (R.I.P)