National French Fry Day has passed, but that does not mean the fries recipes have to stop! Especially since I realized I have never posted about what may be my favorite French fry recipes, ever: Panisses.
Panisses: French Fries made from Chickpea Flour
Panisses are fries made from chickpea flour, and some contend that they are the “original” French fries. They hail from the South of France (specifically, Marseilles), and are utterly addictive!
They can be deep fried or pan-fried, but are delectable when made in the oven, too! Baking also makes the preparation and clean-up of these fries especially easy.
How to Make Chickpea Flour French Fries
Panisses require some planning ahead, as there is chilling time involved, but other than that, they are fast and simple to make.
If you have made my chickpea flour tofu or chickpea flour feta cheese, the initial step is similar. Whisk equal parts (1 cup) chickpea flour and water, plus salt, and a drizzle of olive oil until smooth. This gets added to 1 cup of boiling water, and is whisked until very thick and glossy. Make sure to whisk until any and all lumps are gone.
Pour the batter into a baking pan, cool and chill. When you are ready to make the fries, invert the chilled, solid block (it will slide out with ease) onto a cutting board and cut into “fry” shapes (I recommend 1/4-inch thick, and about 3 inches long).
Note that you can refrigerate the batter for as little as 1 hour before cutting into fries, but the fries will be firmer with longer chilling. I prefer to make the batter a full day ahead of time for extra-firm fries, but if I cannot wait, 1 hour is fine.
Deep-frying is the traditional method for preparing panisses, but I am happy to report that broiling produces equally crisp and delicious, as well as far healthier, results. As a bonus, it eliminates the nagging worry of starting a grease fire and burning down the house :).
To maximize the crispness, I recommend lightly greasing a sheet pan with olive oil and preheating the pan under the broiler for several minutes. This creates immediate sizzle when the fries are placed on the pan.
A few more minutes under the broiler, with one flip halfway through, and the results are golden brown, puffed up fries that taste like they were fried.
The traditional way to serve panisses is seasoned with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and freshly cracked pepper, as well as lemon wedges alongside for squeezing onto the hot fries. It is a scrumptious option. If you are a dunker, these are just as fabulous when dipped marinara, ketchup, or any other sauces and dips. Oh la la!
Prepare to fall (hard) for these fries! It does not hurt that they are also high in protein (more than 5 grams per serving) and a good source of fiber, too.
Vive les French fries!
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