Panelle

, French
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You may have eaten panelle served as “chickpea fries,” and that’s not a bad name for them. You make a thick porridge of chickpea flour, spread it evenly into a pan and let it cool. As with thick polenta (which this resembles), you can then cut the paste into any shape you like — diamonds, squares or French fries, and fry until golden. They are not only among the easiest things to fry (there’s very little spattering), but they’re also gorgeous, and better than “real” fries in just about every regard.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable or olive oil for greasing
    and frying

  • 1

    cup chickpea flour

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    lemon, cut into wedges

    Preparation

    1. Grease an 8-by-8 baking dish or a
      quarter sheet pan with some oil.
      Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small
      saucepan. Put the chickpea flour in
      a large bowl. When the water comes to
      a boil, gradually add it to the bowl with
      the chickpea flour, whisking constantly to
      prevent lumps. Scrape the mixture into
      the saucepan you used to boil the water,
      sprinkle with salt and pepper and bring
      to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer, stir
      in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook
      for just a minute.
    2. Scoop the chickpea mixture onto the
      sheet pan and spread it into an even
      layer. Let it cool, and cover loosely with
      parchment or plastic. Refrigerate for
      at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
    3. Put at least 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet
      over medium heat; heat to 250. Cut
      the chickpea mixture into French fries,
      about 3 inches long; blot any excess
      moisture with a paper towel. Working in
      batches, gently drop them into the hot
      oil. Cook, rotating them occasionally until
      they’re golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes.
      Drain fries on paper towels and immediately
      sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Serve
      hot, with lemon wedges.
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