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t.g.i. fryday: chicken-fried eggplant

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By Jen White · April 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Do you remember the eggplant at Liuzza's I wrote about a while back, the eggplant I said was like eating eggplant dreams? Well, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  We've been back to Liuzza's no less than four times in the past weeks just for the eggplant (of course, we stay for more).  I really wanted to replicate it with this fried eggplant, though that's not quite what happened. But what did happen was something mighty delicious.

The most important thing to know about making eggplant fries is that the eggplant flesh is going to get extremely soft, mild, and, for lack of a better term, sublime.  You can simply dust eggplant strips with seasoned flour and fry them and you'll get something extremely delicious.  But for an all-out snackfest, try this chicken-fry technique.  It's very close to the way I fried chicken last week, and it turns out some substantial-yet-light eggplant fingers.  The outside crunches, the inside melts.  Not bad, little eggplant. Not bad.

P.S. If it seems like I've been frying a lot of things lately, that's correct!  But once you've got the oil in the pot, it just makes sense to use it.  Also: when I finished all my frying, I poured the oil back into the plastic jug from whence it came. It filled it to the top. So based on my limited physics skills, I believe we ingested a microscopic amount of oil; I don't see how it could be otherwise.  Enlighten me if you can.

P.S.S. I'm going on a small blogcation. I'll be back in a week with all kinds of news and goodies! XO.

chicken-fried eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/2" to 1" thick, then into "fries"
  • vegetable oil for frying

 

for dry coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

for wet batter:

  • 1 cup flat beer
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pot to a depth of 2" until it reaches 360 degrees; when you drop a small cube of bread into it, it should immediately start sizzling and turning into a crouton, but not burning.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all the dry coating ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. For the wet batter, combine the beer and egg in a small bowl.  Stir together the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl, then slowly pour in the beer mixture, combining well with a fork.  Stir until all the lumps are gone.
  4. Coat eggplant fries lightly with flour, then dip in wet batter, then return to the dry flour for another dredging.  Lower fries gently into hot oil in batches to avoid overcrowding.  Fry for 5 to 8 minutes, until coating is golden brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels.
  5. These are divine when hot, but they'll hold pretty well, up to a couple of hours, and still be strangely good.

 

Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish; can easily be doubled

Tagged with: liuzza's, eggplant, fried, Chicken
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