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Fried Eggplant


Fried Eggplant

Fried Eggplant

Yield

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Vegetable oil
1 egg white
Lemon slices (optional)
Fresh basil leaf for garnish

Preparation

  1. Rinse eggplant; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place in large colander over bowl; sprinkle with salt. Drain 1 hour.
  2. Cut cheese into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Trim cheese slices to size of eggplant slices. Wrap in plastic; set aside.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in medium bowl; stir until dissolved. Whisk in 1-1/2 cups flour and pepper until smooth. Let batter stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse eggplant and drain well; pat slices dry between paper towels. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add as many eggplant slices in single layer without crowding to hot oil. Cook 2 minutes per side until slices are light brown. Remove with slotted spatula; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining olive oil and eggplant slices.
  5. Sprinkle cheese slices with basil. Place each cheese slice between 2 eggplant slices; press firmly together. Spread remaining 1/2 cup flour on plate. Dip eggplant stacks in flour to coat lightly.
  6. Heat 1-1/2 inches vegetable oil in large saucepan to 350°F. Adjust heat to maintain temperature. Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into yeast batter. Dip eggplant stacks, 1 at a time, into batter; gently shake off excess. Fry stacks in oil, 3 at a time, 2 minutes per side until browned. Remove with slotted spatula; drain on paper towels. Serve hot with lemon slices. Garnish, if desired.

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