Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fried Green Eggplant with Green Chili-Garlic Sauce

Small green eggplants made it into my cart when I was last at my local Asian market, Marché Hawaï. In my mind there are a few vegetables that definitely up their desirability quotient with shallow pan-frying. Eggplant is one of those that greatly benefits from a dredge and a hot oil dip.

Green eggplants are traditionally used in Indian and Thai dishes such as curry. A Southern-style fried vegetable treatment was in order for my preparation so I used white corn meal for breading. Homemade chili-garlic sauce, spooned over the fried slices, punches up the flavor and the heat in this Asian-Southern fusion appetizer.

Green Chili-Garlic Sauce
1 large green bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
4 small red chili peppers
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon light agave nectar

Add all ingredients for the sauce to the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped. In a small pot cook the sauce for 10 minutes over medium heat. Whisk occasionally. Set aside.

Fried Green Eggplant
1 pound green eggplants, sliced into rounds
Sea salt
1 cup white cornmeal
2 eggs
Canola oil, for frying
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Layer eggplant on a paper towel and sprinkle a little salt over the slices. Let this sit for 20 minutes. Press down on the paper towels to absorb additional water from the slices.

Prepare two bowls for breading - one with egg (whisked), one with cornmeal. Dredge each slice in egg, then cornmeal. Set aside on a plate or tray until ready for frying.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium-high. To test if the oil is hot enough for frying, drop a little of the breading into the oil; if the oil sizzles immediately around the breading it is ready to fry the eggplant. Cook in single layer batches. Fry on each side until golden brown. Add additional oil between batches if needed. When golden on both sides, remove from the skillet to a plate or tray lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Crack salt and black pepper over the slices immediately after removing from the skillet. Serve with homemade Chili-Garlic Sauce.

Serves 8-12 as an appetizer

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  1. Sounds good. When do you think you might cook it for us. Dennis and I went out to eat at the Huddle House tonight. He had a big breakfast platter with 3 pieces of bacon and 2 eggs and I had a bowl of chili and fried onion rings. Now if that won't get one's cholesterol up I don't know what will!

  2. Yum bacon! Attilio and I took a drive through the Adirondacks today - made it down to Lake Placid before turning around to drive back home. We ate Italian because he has been deprived lately. I had a veggie panini but then succumbed to a chocolate ice cream cone from a roadside stand.