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Eggplant beignets

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eggplant beignets 2

Nothing too special, the eggplant beignets. Another very traditional side dish or tapa with a different twist in every Spanish household. It's difficult that they are exceptional rather than just good though. And one of the key factors is the eggplant quality without a doubt. The ones I get around my neighborhood are mediocre, to say the least. Some times they are not ripe, while others are absolutely insipid. Maybe the only way to get excellent eggplants is to grow them yourself, at least in the vicinity of huge cities, like where I live...


Eggplant beignets 3

Rather a depressing opening for a post, isn't it? I think I should plant some vegetables in my garden. The problem is that I have a slipped disk and that prevents me from much garden work. Besides some laziness too... okay, I admit it. But let's stop beating around the bush: I loooove eggplant beignets, I find them one of the most wonderful side dishes or tapas one can serve. Hot straight from the pan, fried in a perfectly clean olive oil, they are excellent. I remember to have eaten some of the tastiest eggplant beignets in my life in a small village hotel at Sierra Mágina, a beautiful massif covered with neverending olive groves in Andalusia, where we were treated like kings. They were cut into sticks, instead of sliced in rounds like mine, wonderfully crispy and drizzled with sugar cane syrup, like they're served all around Andalusia. I recall we stuffed ourselves that evening and we laughed our heads off with the children. The happiness effect of good food.

This is how my mother makes them. And imagine I wouldn't even hear of them when I was a child... you can miss really good things out of stubbornness:

Eggplant beignets
Serves 2 or 3 as a side dish

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small ones
  • All-purpose flour or chickpea flour, for coating
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • Virgin olive oil for frying
Eggplant beignets 1
  1. Slice the eggplant in approximately 1cm thick slices. Place them in layers on a colander. Salt the slices in a layer thoroughly before placing the next layer on top. Leave them to rest for one hour so that they release their bitter juices.
  2. Pat them dry with a paper towel and rid them of all the juice (after an hour they'll be covered in little drops of juice).
  3. Pour olive oil in a large frying pan, at least 2cm deep (believe it or not, the more oil you use, the less oily the beignets will be). Heat it to medium-high.
  4. Coat the slices of eggplant in flour and then bathe them in the beaten egg. Fry them in batches.
  5. When golden, take them out to a large dish lined with paper towel, so that part of the oil is soaked. It's better to lay the slices in one layer till they're all done, because they get a bit soggy when left to cool one on top of the other. They should be crispy, more or less. Serve them immediately, while warm.
Eggplant beignets 4

20 comentarios:

Ceinwyn / Ingrid March 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

Lovely sunny pictures from one of my favourite vegetables. And it brings back memories from our last Andalusian trip as well. Berenjenas con miel de caña has always been one of our favourite tapas. We had them sliced, but whether in slices or sticks they are incredibly delicious.

Belinda @zomppa March 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

So gorgeous! This reminds me of outdoor dinners...love it!

lululu March 25, 2010 at 2:23 PM  

wonderful tapa!
my baby son is a little allergic to eggplant, not 100% sure, but since i've noticed that, i'm kinda against cooking with eggplant.
now this dish looks very delicious! i think i might try to go for it one more time. :P

5 Star Foodie March 25, 2010 at 3:37 PM  

I think these eggplant beignets are very special and I would love to try them! Bookmarking to make very soon!

Valen March 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

I love eggplant, but frying makes me nervous. My oil always smokes, drys up quickly, and turns black. These make me want to try once more.

sarah March 25, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

I love eggplants in all shapes and forms especially like this one, an easy and tasty recipe (good idea with the chickpea flour, I happen to have some at home)

Bellini Valli March 25, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

They look delicious Miriam. We are starting to find more variety of eggplants at our farmers markets and grocers than ever before.

Christine | Money Funk March 25, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

And I have just the eggplant for this job sitting in my produce drawer. Perfect for dinner paired with a mixed greens salad. Now to come up with a creamy dressing to compliment this all. ;)

livelifeeatright March 26, 2010 at 4:04 AM  

This is so smart! Looks delicious!

Mamatkamal March 26, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

This looks so delicious and I love eggplants.
Cheers

lisaiscooking March 26, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

Finding perfectly ripe eggplants is a challenge, but your beignets look delicious!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking March 27, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

Mmm mmm mm. That looks super delicious. It reminds me of something I had a lot when I went to Italy for some weeks.

Stella March 27, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

These are beautiful. They really look delicious. We had white eggplant (which taste almost the same as Black Beauty) growing out of control in my Mom's garden, and she lives in a city. They're very easy and inexpensive to grow in certain areas, and now is the time to plant I believe!

Justine March 27, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

I'm going out for tapas tonight- maybe these will be no the menu because they look so good!

Mariana March 27, 2010 at 4:14 PM  

Qué buen plato! Lo probaré uno de estos días...
Tienes muy lindas fotos en tu blog
Saludos!

Cleo Coyle March 27, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

Yes, yes, yes! Gilded and fried - This is my favorite way to eat zucchini, as well. Wonderful photos, makes me want to dive right in.

Cheers!
~ Cleo

tasteofbeirut March 28, 2010 at 6:44 AM  

I would so go for this! Love these eggplant beignets!

Marc @ NoRecipes April 2, 2010 at 3:17 AM  

This looks so simple yet so delicious. I love using chickpea flour for frying because it comes out so light and crispy.

Miriam April 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

Ingrid: so you know the real thing! They are indeed delicious.
Belinda: you're right!
Lululu: you should be careful then.
5SF: thanks!
Valen: if you use good quality olive oil that shouldn't happen! But don't let it overheat.
Sarah: then you should try them!
Val: you're lucky to have such a wide choice.
Christine: sounds good... ;-)
LLER: thanks!
Mamatkamal: thanks!
Lisa: it is, thanks!
Linn: I'm sure there must be something similar in Italy.
Stella: wow, you're lucky!
Justine: haha, maybe
Mariana: gracias!
Cleo: gilded... that's the word!
TOB: thanks!
Marc: it's simple, that's why it's best with really good eggplants.

MrsLavendula April 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

that looks lovely!

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