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‘The Picayune’ (now known as ‘The Times-Picayune’) of New Orleans began publication in 1837. Besides having a reputation for fine journalism, the paper has to its credit a cookbook of enduring popularity: ‘The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book’. This version of French Fried Eggplant derives from this good old cookbook, in which the eggplant’s worth is succinctly expressed: “One of our most esteemed and useful vegetables.”
You will also need:
1. A large mixing bowl.
2. A cotton dish towel.
3. Two cooling racks each placed over a rimmed baking pan. These are a useful place to arrange the fries before frying and to drain them afterwards.
4. A heavy-bottomed pot or a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet for deep-frying the eggplant.
5. A candy/deep fry thermometer is useful for judging the oil’s temperature and adjusting it as the eggplant slices fry.
1. Fill a mixing bowl with salted water. Peel the eggplants and cut them into large french fries that are about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick. Another way of describing the cut and size is: cut the eggplant as you would potatoes for making ‘steak fries’.
2. Put the slices into the bowl and soak them for 30 minutes in the salted water.
3. Drain the eggplant slices, spread them out in a cotton dish towel, and pat them dry. Mix the egg and milk in the mixing bowl and season with salt and several grinds of white pepper. Place the pan of flour close at hand.
4. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg and milk batter, roll them in the flour and place the battered fries on one of the cooling racks set in a rimmed baking pan.
5. Heat the oil in the frying pot or deep skillet to around 375 F. Once the oil is hot, add the eggplant slices into the oil. Fry the eggplant slices a few at a time, adjusting the heat to keep the oil at a temperature between 350 and 375 F. A batch of 4 will be done in 3-4 minutes. Remove the cooked fries from the oil and place the fries to drain on the second cooling rack placed in a rimmed pan. Sprinkle them with a few grinds of salt and white pepper and serve them hot. Repeat with the remaining fries.
Suggested sauces for accompanying the french fried eggplant: A recipe for Sauce Remoulade Cajun Style is given in the Related Link. It is more highly seasoned than a traditional remoulade and contains no eggs or mayonnaise. A simple sauce made by mixing prepared horseradish to taste in some ketchup is another very good alternative.
An acknowledgement: French Fried Eggplant The Picayune is adapted from a recipe in ‘The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book (4th edition, 1910), which is available to read free online, courtesy of Cornell University’s collection in the Internet Archive.
I am a Mexican food fiend and nothing makes me happier than a big bowl of pico de gallo and chips. This is such an easy recipe and you can make it mild, medium or spicy depending on what you prefer. I like spicy, so jalapeno peppers are for me, but you could add habanero peppers if you like a lot of heat!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!