Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Close to perfect, but not
Eggplant with Crispy Coating
America’s Quick Cuisine Copyright 2004
1 large eggplant
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs or yellow cornmeal I used seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon oregano I skipped this since I used seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil
1. Peel eggplant, if desired; then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Set aside. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs. In another shallow bowl, mix crumbs, oregano and cheese.
2. Pour oil into a rimmed baking pan large enough to hold eggplant in a single layer; tilt pan to coat with oil. Dip each eggplant slice in eggs, drain briefly, and then coat with crumb mixture; shake off excess. Arrange eggplant slices in pan and bake in a 425 degree oven, turning once, until browned and very soft when pressed (20 to 25 minutes).
Makes 4 to 6 servings
The coating on this eggplant was really crispy, just like deep fried if you ask me. The eggplant underneath the crispy coating was perfectly creamy. So this should be declared a winner, no? No. This was bland. Claire at Cooking With Medicine did a comparison of the deep colored eggplant versus the light purple variety, which I used here, and she declared the light purple one to lack flavor. I think I agree, although while eating it, I mainly thought my eggplant needed salt. The cheese added some salt to the coating but the eggplant was really flat. But I worry adding salt at any point before the finish might cause the eggplant to give up water and hinder the crisping of the coating. I did sprinkle some salt on the finished product but that didn't do the trick.
All in all, this was quite heartbreaking since this was so close to being perfect. I'm going to use this technique again, maybe with a deep-colored eggplant, maybe with zucchini. It was nice to get that deep-fried flavor without all that oil or odor.
I ordered three new cookbooks yesterday. I tried to stop myself. I SERIOUSLY tried to stop myself from hitting that submit button. But I'm so weak.
Question of the Day: Can you think of any other veggies I could use in this recipe?