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.