Saturday, June 4, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Eggplant Fritters (appetizer)

In food, as in life, timing is everything.

Like I said a few weeks ago, eggplants are like potato chips.
It's hard to stop at just one.
There are so many recipes.
That eggplant sure does get around.

In that post I mentioned a recipe for 'The Imam Fainted'.
This weekend on CBC Manitoba Weekend Morning Show, Chef Karen Peters cooked a Turkish eggplant dish called Imam Baldi.

Is that a hint to do another eggplant recipe or what?

Eggplants are also very popular in Italy.
It's served as everything from appetizer to main course.

Don't believe me?
Check out the Graduation Parties chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with the Sopranos.  There's a recipe for Eggplant Fritters.

Now I don't normally like anything fried.
But, when it comes to eggplant, I'll make an exception.
Picture it... after the party you're stuck with a platter of fried eggplant.

Did I say stuck?
No, you're not.
You're ready for the next day's dinner.
Try doing that with Ritz crackers and a dip. 

                             
                              Eggplant Fritters 

Trim off the ends of
2 eggplants (about 1 pound each)
Cut lengthwise in half

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add 
1 teaspoon salt
the halved eggplants
Simmer 15 minutes.
Place the eggplants in a colander in the sink to drain.

After they've cooled, squeeze GENTLY to remove excess water.
Chop the eggplants very fine and place in a large bowl.
Add
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 Cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 Cup grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley (1/8 Cup dried)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (more or less) pepper

Spread on a large cookie sheet
1 1/2 Cups plain dry bread crumbs

Shape the eggplant mixture into 1 1/2-inch patties, 1/2 inch thick.
Dip in the bread crumbs, patting the crumbs on so they'll stick. 
Place the patties on another cookie sheet. 
Let sit about 15 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet pour
vegetable oil to a 1/2-inch depth
Heat over medium heat until a bread cube will sizzle in the oil.
(If it's not hot enough, they won't fry crisply.)

Leaving enough space between them, fry the patties, 
turning once, about 10 minutes.
Place the patties on paper towels to drain.
They can be kept warm in a 200ยบ oven while you fry the rest.

They can be served as an appetizer OR
with tomato sauce as a main dish.


Handy, no?

Would I make Eggplant Fritters again?
Sure.
And while I'm at it, I'd cook up an extra eggplant or two.
The counter is going to get spattered anyway.

The next day I'd serve the leftovers as dinner.


Another recipe down.  Eighteen more to go. 

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