Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Grimace from McDonald's an eggplant?

This is an eggplant:


And this is an eggplant BLT:



I had never eaten eggplant before this venture (not even eggplant parmigiana) but I saw a recipe in Real Simple and thought, "Hey, that looks interesting." The eggplant is breaded and serves as the "bread" of the sandwich. This seemed perfect for my husband and I because the gluten-free bread he was eating was a little on the stiff side (had to be microwaved before eating) and kind of expensive. Removing the need for bread seemed genius! Well, before we had time to make this sandwich, we found Udi's gluten-free bread, which tastes, looks, and feels like regular bread, and it's cheaper than the other stuff we had been buying.

But we bought the eggplant anyway because it was on sale at the grocery store and we decided to be adventurous. The original recipe (which is NOT a BLT) can be found here. I'm posting our adapted, gluten-free, BLT version.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1 medium eggplant (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
head of lettuce
tomato
bacon

Directions:
1. Cook up some bacon. I think you can figure out how to do that and it can cook while you do all this eggplant business. (Just remember to turn the bacon strips so both sides cook and remove them from the pan before they burn.)
2. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and then in the bread crumbs.
3. Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half the eggplant until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining oil and eggplant. Sprinkle the hot eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Disclaimer: I totally didn't follow this step AT ALL. I have no idea what I was doing. I poured all the oil in the skillet at once... Follow the directions for crispier eggplant slices.)
4. Layer the eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon to form sandwiches with the eggplant on top and bottom of each stack.

So now that you're probably like "Oh that sounds good..." let me just say, it wasn't the greatest. But that could just be me. My husband said he liked it. I just happen to be very picky about the vegetables that go in my mouth and eggplant doesn't do it for me. It tasted a little like zucchini, but not as good. And I don't even really like zucchini, so...

But I'm glad I tried it. It was easy to make and didn't cost a whole lot.

If any of you try this, let me know. Got any other ideas on how to use eggplant? Maybe so that I can't really taste the eggplant?

p.s. The Robbie Williams song titles as blog titles has ended. :)

4 comments:

  1. I like to saute eggplant. I had some amazing eggplant in Italy. Of course, I can't make it like they did.

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  2. Where did you come from and where is my real daughter?????? You just amaze me that you try all these new recipes!!! You definitely got the cooking gene that skipped me. Although the Cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole that I made last night was pretty good.
    ps Sorry I never made any eggplant for you.
    Love MOM

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  3. You have to season it really well, otherwise eggplant can taste bitter, but it's great in rattatouille (just chop up a bunch of seasonal veggies - i.e. zucchini, onions, mushrooms, eggplant) toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes and serve over pasta. Yummo!

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  4. I've never had eggplant before, but that BLT looks so good I may have to try it!

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