Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crispy Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwiches over Salad

Oh boy, are you in for a real treat today! This is a great new recipe I made for dinner last night. This recipe is adapted by my Mom from a Suzanne Somers' recipe from her book, "Eat Great Lose Weight." Years ago, food combining was very popular and this recipe was a product of that method. It is definitely not low fat, as it contains yummy mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and is fried, but your body does break down and digest the food faster, according to the food combining experts. My husband and I LOVED this meal, and didn't miss having meat one bit. I can't wait to make it again.
Crispy Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwiches over Salad
recipe adapted from Suzanne Somers' Eat Great Lose Weight

NEW: Click here for a printer friendly version

Ingredients:

Sandwiches
2 medium eggplants, striped and sliced into 1/2-inch- thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4 thick slices
2 large eggs, lightly beaten mixed with 1/4 cup water
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Herb Spread
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried Basil OR 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tbsp dried Parsley OR 1/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
Vegetable or Canola oil for frying
Salad
Large head of green or red leaf lettuce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt, pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry your eggplants.
Using a peeler, stripe the eggplants to remove half of the skin.
Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick round slices. Discard the ends. You only want to use the centers, which contain little seeds. The ends are tough and do not have seeds or much flavor.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place eggplant rounds on baking sheet and brush tops lightly with olive oil. Salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and soft. Do not over bake (or they will become too thin and stick to the pan!).
Prepare the herb paste by combining minced garlic, red pepper flakes, dried basil and dried parsley. If using fresh herbs you will need to chop them finely before mixing together.
Match up the eggplant rounds so you have two of similar slices paired together.
Slice your fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.
Set up your ingredients like an assembly line. You want your herb spread, beaten eggs and water, and then your shredded Parmesan cheese.
Using a large cast iron pan, or a nonstick pan, heat canola oil over medium high heat. You are not deep frying, but rather shallow pan frying these eggplant sandwiches. I covered the bottom of the pan and went up the sides slightly with the canola oil. You know the oil is ready when you place the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and it bubbles around it.
On one of the eggplant rounds for each pair, lightly spread about 1 teaspoon of the herb spread.
Place a slice of mozzarella cheese over the herb spread eggplant.
Top with the second piece of eggplant. Continue with each pair until they all have herb spread, mozzarella cheese and a top of eggplant.
Now dip each eggplant and mozzarella sandwich into the bowl of beaten egg/water. Make sure you coat both sides.
Then coat the egg covered sandwich with shredded Parmesan cheese. You might need to use your hands to help press the cheese on both sides.
Place in hot oil and fry for two minutes on each side. Use a spatula to carefully turn them over. Some of the cheese will come off in the pan and that is okay. Once lightly browned on both sides remove from pan carefully and place on a brown paper bag to drain the excess oil. You do not want to place these on paper towels because the cheese might stick.
Make a balsamic vinaigrette using 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup of olive oil and salt and pepper. Whisk together well.
Wash and dry a large head of green or red leaf lettuce. Tear into smaller pieces and divide evenly over four plates. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the lettuce and then top with two slices of the fried eggplant and mozzarella sandwiches. Drizzle a little more the vinaigrette over the eggplant and serve immediately.
See the yummy mozzarella cheese in the middle of the eggplant? This was SOOOOO delicious. There are a few steps involved but these are not difficult to make, I promise! Give them a try, and let me know if you love them as much as we did!

Serves 4.

3 comments:

  1. Its your dad's favorite too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Confession: I've never bought an eggplant. I don't even think I've tasted one. But this looks SUPER yummy and I love the idea of a tasty vegetarian meal. My vegetarian recipe collection is pretty slim. Thanks so much for the GREAT pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just came across your blog. This reciepe looks great. Thank you for sharing.

    Kelli
    www.raisinganarrow.com

    ReplyDelete

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