Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pan Fried Eggplant

228. This summer my eggplants are growing so beautifully with the great rainfall, hot sunny days and warm nights.
I chose two beautiful little eggplants and decided to prepare them for dinner. I was craving eggplant because I saw the new winner of Food Network Star make an Eggplant Parm Sandwich for one of his challenges. While watching, I picked up a few great hints and wanted to try them.

Now, my favorite wasn't chosen but I'm ok with the winner, Jeff Mauro. He's likable and grew on me while I watched this final show. I'm even happier that Penny didn't make it to the end...'nuf said!
Jeff peeled his eggplant and salted the rounds before deep frying. I rarely do this because I personally like the skin and density of the eggplant.

But I was surprised how nicely the salt drew out bitterness and ultimately brought the sweetness out of the eggplant. I also used panko bread crumbs to coat the rounds.
The end result was beautiful. Eggplant was tender and the crust was crispy.

I paired it with pasta and homemade sauce.
So enjoyable!

Pan Fried Eggplant

2 small or 1 large eggplant, peel and slice, lay out on rack and sprinkle both sides with salt
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 garlic salt
kosher salt
1 egg

Mix panko crumbs, flour, garlic salt, salt and pepper. In separate bowl mix together egg and water and beat till blended. With a paper towel, lightly press the eggplant to absorb liquid on the eggplant. Dip each round in flour, then in egg mixture, then in panko crumb mixture and place in hot oiled pan. Saute' each side till toasted brown then flip and continue. Remove to paper towel and keep hot in the oven till you serve.
Each slice was tasty and tender.
You could make a parmesan and layer the rounds in a casserole dish then cover with tomato sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. When I do this, I do not pan fry the eggplant till tender but allow the oven to complete the cooking process.

"Mauro may pronounce 'Illinois' with an 's', but that doesn't make him less of a Chicagoan."

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