Archives for posts with tag: Eggplant

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Dippers

I always want to make large portions of food that are good as leftovers, thinking then I can have an easy snack the next day. These make excellent leftovers – just pop them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for a few minutes and they’re good to go. However, I should warn you that they are so good I never manage to save them until the next day.

This recipe was modified from one that I found through pinterest. I left out the parmesan cheese (which she adds to the breadcrumb mixture). Also, it can easily be made vegan by leaving out the eggs as explained below. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.pinottopampers.com/2012/05/12/better-than-fried-eggplant-parmesan-appetizers/

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten ****If vegan, substitute cornstarch paste mixture or milk alternative
  • Garlic salt or other Italian seasonings, to taste
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the eggplant (optional) and slice into “fries.”
  3. Spray baking tray with pam, or brush with olive oil.
  4. Dip each eggplant piece in the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  5. Place the coated pieces on the baking tray and spray with oil.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once.
  7. Serve with marinara for dipping.

 

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Battered Eggplant  + Fresh Fettuccine

Yesterday I made my first foray into deep frying and battering. I love my fried foods, but I’ve been secretly terrified of hot oil ever since a long-ago encounter with working a viciously spitting deep fryer at a county fair.

The task of making fried eggplant was actually quite pleasant and hardly as laborious as I expected. Not to mention, the end result was delicious. Experimenting with the flavor and texture of the batter was a lot of fun, and the frying process went pretty smoothly. The only part I didn’t care for was cleaning my stovetop after the fact, but that’s to be expected.

I also had some fresh fettuccine. I only regret that I did not have any fresh basil to garnish the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Eggplant

(For Batter):

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Cup soda water
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable Oil

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant to desired piece sizes.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant with salt, set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in club soda until the batter has a thick texture. (Some lumps are okay).
  5. Fill a frying pan with vegetable oil, approximately 1/2 inch deep.
  6. Heat on medium-high to high heat. (The oil should be hot enough to scare you). (:
  7. (optional: wipe or rinse salt from eggplant pieces).
  8. Dip each piece of eggplant in the batter until evenly covered.
  9. Place battered eggplant pieces into the hot oil.
  10. Let each piece cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  11. Remove and place on a bed of paper towels on a plate (to absorb excess grease).
  12. Serve and enjoy!

** Tip: The Club Soda. The bubbles in the club soda help keep the fry batter light. Using regular water is okay, but might create a denser breading.

** Tip: Eggplant is a spongy vegetable and will absorb the frying oil. This can lead to a very soggy, oil-logged dish. Salting the eggplant before cooking helps to remove some of the water and collapse the spongy structure so that it will be less oil-logged. This can also be accomplished by pre-cooking the pieces of eggplant in the microwave instead of salting them.

** Tip: Storing Eggplant (before you cook it). Eggplant is a tropical vegetable so it doesn’t like refrigeration. More than a couple days in the refrigerator will cause it to have a strange taste or even become brown on the inside.

** Tip: If you have leftovers, make sure they cool completely to room temperature before packaging them and putting them in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the excess steam that is released in the tupperware in the fridge will cause your fried leftovers to become very soggy. Reheat in a toaster oven at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes, flipping once.