When I first started cooking, I would always drain fried foods on a paper towel. And it worked for the most part. But after watching a cooking demo on YouTube, I noticed the cook drained their food on a wire rack. It never occurred to me that a cooling rack could be for anything else than hot cookies. I tried it out and found that the wire rack was perfect for fried foods. The food cooled and any extra grease dripped off, saving the item from becoming soggy in it own oil. Every cook has their own preference, but I will never go back to paper towels.
It seems like a lot of the vegetables I feature here are not ones that I like. A lot of the local seasonal vegetables are not my favorites, but certain preparations can make an vegetable turn into a winner. Here is another one. Even though I don’t like eggplant, I really like eggplant parmigiana sandwiches. This simple version doesn’t use Parmesan cheese and relies on the best of the season produce to carry it’s flavor. Eggplant parm is a bit of work to make, but has a delicious payoff. Deep frying thinly sliced rounds leaves the eggplant crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Paired with a spicy marinara sauce and a soft sub, this sandwich is one of my favorites for a special treat. Serve with a green salad for a wonderful dinner.
Eggplant Parm Sub
Makes 6 sandwiches
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups vegetable oil or enough to fill pan
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 6 sprigs of fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp dried
- 6 sub rolls
- salt to taste
Wash and dry eggplant. Slice eggplant into 1/4″ thick rounds. If the rounds are very big, cut in half in order to fit on sub roll. Sprinkle salt on both sides of eggplant and let sit for 10 minutes. Put breadcrumbs in a wide bowl. Put flour in a separate wide bowl. In a third bowl, crack eggs and beat together. Fill a large skillet with oil to about a 1/2” depth. Heat skillet over medium heat. Set up the dredging station with the following order: paper towel, flour bowl, egg bowl, then breadcrumb bowl. When the oil is hot and sizzles when a breadcrumb is tossed in, start the frying. Working in batches, take an eggplant slice and pat it on the paper towels to remove excess moisture. Dredge the slice in the flour. Then move to the egg bowl and submerge in egg. Tap slice to shake off extra egg, and dredge in breadcrumbs. Carefully transfer to hot oil. Fry on each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to drip and cool.
Start the broiler over high heat and set the rack to 6″ below flame. Slice in half each sub roll. Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese. Warm the marinara sauce. Put the sub rolls on a baking sheet. Layer five or so pieces of fried eggplant on each roll. Layer a few slices of the cheese on the eggplant. Working in batches if needed, set the sandwiches below the broiler, with the cheese under the hottest part. Broil until cheese is slightly bubbly and sub is toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce over cheese. Top with fresh or dried basil. Serve immediately.
Bonus sketchie! USK Boston
10 minute portrait sketches