Monday, June 16, 2008

Perfect Fried Eggplant

When the weather gets hot, I like to use a vegetable as the main course for supper, especially when you can get perfect fresh eggplant. Fried Eggplant is delicious on its own, or it can be used as an ingredient for Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Lasagna --just don't skip the pressing step. As an Italian grandmother will tell you, "Eggplant is like a woman -- it has to weep to let go of its bitterness."


2 cups flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 cup water
2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Progresso)
1 medium eggplant
Canola oil
Lemon slices

At the grocery, choose an eggplant that is medium-sized and firm with a smooth, shiny skin. At home, peel off the skin and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Keep the slices as uniform as you can.

Place 6-8 slices in a single layer on a dinner plate, salt lightly, and cover with a paper towel. Layer again and repeat until all slices are stacked with paper towel between them. Cover with a dinner plate of the same size and weigh it down (I use a 2-3 cans of vegetables as a weight.) Let the eggplant "weep" for about 1 hour.

After the eggplant has released it's juice, prepare 3 bowls for breading. In the first, place seasoned flour. The second should have the egg and water beaten together. The third should have the breadcrumbs. Heat Canola oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip each slice of eggplant in flour, egg mixture, and crumbs. Allow to fry 2-3 minutes, turn. When browned on both sides, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with slices of lemon.


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