Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What are you making? I don't know.

That was the conversation my husband and I had tonight while standing in the kitchen.  I'm sure many of you have had that same conversation before many times. The problem with it this time was that I had already started cooking.

We bought a couple eggplants the other day at the farmers market and weren't really sure what to do with them.  I don't have a lot of experience with eggplants besides putting them in lasagna.  I had already used one the other night (chopped up on top of home-made pizza) and I had one left.  If I didn't cook it tonight it would go bad.  So what am I going to make?

I had pulled up a few eggplant recipes from the internet...eggplant parmesan, ratatouille salad, eggplant brushette.  They all sounded good but none of them really stood out as, "ooh I want to make that and then eat it!"  But I started pulling out ingredients and mashing a couple recipes together and decided to make my own recipe.  So when my husband comes in the kitchen and asked what I was making, I really didn't know.  "Hey, I'm making this up as I go along," I said as he slowly backed out of the kitchen with a worried look on his face saying "I'm outta here!"

I was a little nervous myself but I jumped in anyway. What I ended up with was a great, creative, yummy meal which I think I will call Deep-fried Eggplant Parmesan Crostinis with Feta.  Well, perhaps the title needs a little work but trust me, the idea was genius.  And it was kinda exhilierating. I felt like I was on one of those cooking shows like Chopped, where you get a basket full of crazy ingredients and have a half hour to create something magnificent.  Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't get chopped but hubby was very pleased, as was I.

P.S. The side dish in the little square bowl is cheesy polenta with fresh spinach leaves as garnish.

Here's my make-as-I-go-along eggplant recipe...

Deep-fried Eggplant Parmesan Feta Crostinis

Ingredients:  2 small eggplants, 3 eggs or egg whites, 3 TBsp water, 1 cup fine breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup fresly grated parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper,  1 cup tomato sauce, about a 1/2 -1 cup of various chopped veggies of your choice (we used green pepper, red pepper, red onions), fresh baguette (ours was parmsean peppercorn flavor), butter to spread, feta cheese crumbles to taste, oil for frying

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut slices in half (like a half-moon).  Whisk eggs and water in a shallow dish until frothy. In another bowl combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, then coat in breadcrumb mixture. Put oil in pan and set at medium heat.  When hot put coated eggplant slices in oil, allow to fry for about a minute on each side or until brown and crispy.  Set fried slices on paper towel to drain excess oil off.

In a separate pan, pour in tomato sauce and add chopped veggies.  Simmer until heated through.  Thinly slice baguette on the diagonal and lightly butter.  Sprinkle with a little bit of leftover breadcrumb mixture and toast in 350 degree oven for several minutes, until desired toastiness.

When baguette slices come out of the oven, place 3-4 on a plate.  Top crostinis with several eggplant slices, then a couple spoonfuls of veggie tomato sauce, and finish off with a few feta cheese crumbles to taste.


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