More fun with Eggplant
I’ve been buying eggplant recently, because it will only be in season for a little while longer, and because I’m determined to master this finicky vegetable. So when searching for something new and interesting in the eggplant department, I came across eggplant croquettes. I love croquettes, but I’ve always been far too intimidated by them to try. They are so soft and I’ve never been certain I could make them in a non-disastrous way. However, I’ve read far too many fantasy novels to be permanently daunted by a difficult undertaking – eggplant croquettes would be made!
As per usual this a conglomeration of a couple different recipes: this one and this one. My version: Cut a large eggplant in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven at 400 until it is soft. Pull it out of the oven and let it cool until it can be handled without hurting yourself. Dice some onion and one or two cloves of garlic. Beat an egg. Mix in the onion and garlic. Scoop out the inside of the eggplant, chop/mash/puree so its not chunky, add to the egg mixture. Add some fresh chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Now you have the croquette filling.
To assemble: Fill a plate or container with bread crumbs. Drop spoonfuls of the eggplant stuff into the bread crumbs. Once the eggplant mix is covered in bread crumbs, fry in olive oil. That is the slightly tricky part, moving the bread crumb-covered eggplant into the frying pan. Patting it into shape a bit, getting more bread crumbs into the eggplant helps it keep its shape. Also, don’t lose your nerve – just grab the croquette and go for it, handling it longer just makes it harder. The frying part is less tricky, if one side is browned, it should be fairly easy to flip. Also they are really small, which helps with the flipping. Once done, put the croquette/patties on paper towels to soak up the excess oil. This is very important for all fried foods.
The croquettes were a success! I didn’t actually screw any of them up, and they all came out fairly well with no mishaps beyond occasionally getting hot oil on myself (but no new scars or blisters, so its all good). They are delicate, and slightly tricky, but totally doable. As with all fried things, they will lose their crispiness if you reheat them in the microwave the next day, though they will still taste just as good.