Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
Deep fried eggplant makes a delicious side dish for meat, poultry, or fish. It is hearty enough to stand on its own as a meatless entrée. In our household, we generally serve fried eggplant with our favorite hot sauce or homemade Remoulade Sauce and creamy Bayou Coleslaw.
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/8 inch slices
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
Few drops hot sauce (Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
vegetable oil for deep frying
In a bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, the cornmeal, and the spices. Whisk to combine. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, the milk, and the hot sauce.
Dip the eggplant slices first into the cornmeal mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back into the cornmeal mixture. Place on a metal baking sheet.
Heat the oven to 200°F. Place an empty baking sheet in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy (cast iron is best) skillet, heat 2 – 3 inches of vegetable oil over medium high heat to 350° F. If the oil begins to smoke, remove the skillet from the heat until it cools down slightly.
With tongs, carefully drop 3 - 5 of the coated eggplant slices into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd or the eggplant will simmer and not crisp up. Cook the eggplant until golden, then carefully turn over, about 2 minutes on each side.
Drain briefly on paper towels. To keep warm until serving, place the fried eggplant slice in a single layer on the baking sheet in the oven.
Allow the oil to return to 350°F before frying up the next batch.
Serve hot with your favorite hot sauce, smoky medium hot Swamp Scum Sauce (purchase from the link below), or a classic homemade Creole Remoulade Sauce.
For an Italian twist, drizzle with heated spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and minced Italian flat leaf parsley.