Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Sliders

Oh my gosh are these delicious. If the base of your stack is a garden tomato slice, then you could call these a summer vegetable napoleon. But if you start with a piece of baked eggplant, these become sliders that you can handily pick up to eat!

For two people you’ll need:

2 med very fresh eggplant

a few sliced garden tomatoes (if you don’t have really good tomatoes this is not the dish for you)

fresh mozarrella, sliced in a few slices, however thick it suits you

Some fresh basil, chopped in fine strips

olive oil

commercial bread crumbs. I use unseasoned, but you could use whatever you have

s+p to taste

an egg

Start with quarter inch slices of peeled very fresh eggplant, and dunk them in beaten egg you thinned with a little water. Then dredge in breadcrumbs. Put a fair amount of olive oil on a foil lined cookie sheet and arrange the slices on here. Then, I like to use my Misto to spray the tops with olive oil.. I use the oven and heat it to 375. When they brown on one side flip them to finish. (You could, of course, fry these in a pan)

Make little stacks: a piece of eggplant, a piece of cheese, a little basil, a tomato another eggplant slice, more tomato, basil, eggplant, voila, cute yummy slider. Or start with a tomato base and commit to using a fork. We’ve found 3 stacks each makes a very nice supper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fry Baby, Fry

I cannot remember the last time I fried anything…I mean actual frying in a least an inch of bubbling hot oil.

It is the Season of the Eggplant around here and after the caponata was put up and the eggplant lasagnas safely tucked into the garage freezer there were still a few small eggplants in the garden.

Dinner was looming.

I had a vision of small golden eggplant cubes, enrobed in a fresh tomato sauce and served up on pasta.

It seemed a no brainer to get busy with the cast iron chicken fryer and heat up some oil. I peeled two smallish eggplants cut them into squares about three quarters of an inch all around, doused them in beaten egg and tossed them in a bag with bread crumbs . Corn and peanut oils are preferred for frying because of their high smoke point, but I had canola on hand, about 1.5 inches of oil total, I’d say. I was frying at approx. 350-375 degrees ( yes I used a thermometer) and did not have any problems.

Because the cubes are small and vegetable, they fry very quickly in the hot oil. They were all I’d hope for and more. The tomato sauce I mentioned was very simple: chopped up 2 or so garden tomatoes, a bit of fresh basil, garden garlic, a little olive oil. And I added a teensy bit of Wondra to provide little body.

The cubes were custardy inside and crisp on the outside. The tomato sauce was velvety and sweet. And this did not take very long. It’s one of those meals where you have to think and make a plan ( do sauce first, heat pasta water, get oil heating, cut up eggplant), but once stuff it prepped it goes very quickly. And completely worthy of the small planning effort.