Alternatively, the rice flour or cornstarch coated slices can be placed in a large plastic bag then tossed with a sprinkling of olive or grape seed oil to cover the coating. Place the slices on a parchment covered baking sheet like eggplant “cookies.” Sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning. Bake on the upper rack of a 375-degree oven until the coating turns golden brown.
Thinner is crispier
The thinner the slice, the crispier it will become. Remove from the oven and serve warm or incorporate into other dishes.
Crispy eggplant chips can be made by slicing the eggplant about quarter-inch thick and slowly drying them in a low oven (175 to 200 degrees). Check them often to be sure they don't get too brown.
Crispy eggplant makes a great appetizer or snack served warm with a sauce or my favorite jelly with a “kick.”
Of course, it also can be served with your own ranch dressing, homemade or purchased marinara sauce, homemade or Oklahoma salsa, or my favorite accompaniment: Suan's Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly. I am not kidding — just spoon a little onto a crispy eggplant slice and savor. This made right here in Oklahoma jelly is absolutely yummy on oven-roasted salmon or chicken ... but that's another column.
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One medium-size eggplant will make four appetizer servings or two generous sides.
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup rice flour
1 egg white beaten until frothy
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 to 1/2 cup grape-seed oil
Cook's notes: These slices can be used to top chicken or veal cutlets with a little marinara sauce and a bit of provolone cheese. They can be served as an appetizer with a garnish of ranch dressing. They can be incorporated into lasagna or a sandwich. Try them with salsa or a dollop of Greek yogurt.