Bernice's Fried Eggplant

... with just a little tweaking.

Serves 8.

Ingredients:
2 medium-large eggplants
1.5 cups breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
Spices from your pantry (such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper)
2 eggs
1/2 cup or more of all purpose flour
Vegetable oil
[Note: halve these proportions for a medium-sized eggplant]

Pre-prep:

Slice the eggplant into 1/2" rounds (the traditional way) or 3/4"x4" spears (the "fries" way). Put into a colander, sprinkle with kosher salt, and let sit for ~10 minutes. This removes some of the moisture from the eggplant, resulting in a less-greasy dish.

While your eggplant is leaking, mix together breadcrumbs, freshly grated parmesan, and your choice of spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, and pepper) in a medium bowl. If using panko breadcrumbs, be sure to crush them a bit.

Beat eggs with a bit of milk (optional) in a medium bowl.

Prep:

Spread flour on a plate. Dredge each piece of eggplant individually in flour (both sides). Shake off any excess.

Then dip piece of eggplant into beaten egg.

Then dip piece of eggplant into breadcrumb mixture, pressing breadcrumbs onto eggplant to ensure an even coating.

Cooking:

Heat ~1/2" of oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add pieces one at a time until you have filled the pan.

Fry until golden brown; flip and fry until golden brown on other side. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.

Drain on a wire rack lined with paper towels. Pat excess oil off top with more paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

You will probably have to add more oil 1-2 times during the cooking.

Eating:

These are fantastic on their own, fresh out of the frying pan. I know this because I ate many an eggplant slice fresh from the pan as a kid.

But... these are also a great foundation for more complicated (but still easy) dishes. Some ideas:

  • For a lighter option, put slices on a baking sheet and top with diced tomatoes, basil, and shredded cheese (such as parmesan or mozzarella). Bake for 5-10 mins at approximately 400°F until sizzling and cheese is melted.

  • For full-blown eggplant parmesan, put slices in a baking dish and cover with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese slices. Bake for 10-15 minutes at approximately 375°F until dish is heated through and cheese is melted.

Voila!

Eggplant Parmesan
Fried Eggplant
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