Fried Eggplant

eggplant_frying.jpgA serious fried food craving overtook us, so we succumbed. Our dinner of vegetables couldn’t have been much less healthful!


2 large eggplant (or a meaty squash such as zucchini)

into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Add in layers to a colander; sprinkle each layer of rounds liberally with

kosher salt.

Allow salt to pull out water for at least 30 minutes. Shake excess water off of eggplants. Dredge in

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

And allow dredge to set for 10-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat

2 cups peanut oil

to 375 degrees F in a cast iron skillet. Prepare coating by blending

1 cup coarsely ground whole wheat bread crumbs
3 T finely minced parsley
1 t granulated garlic (use powder only if granulated is unavailable)
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Toss ingredients to combine. Prepare each round by dipping in

2 eggs, beaten until slightly light in color

then dipping in bread crumb mixture. Working in batches, add rounds to hot oil. Flip after 90 seconds. Check color after an additional 2 minutes; if golden brown, pull from oil and allow to drain. Tilt rounds against each other so oil can drain well from top surface. Serve immediately with marinara for dipping.

Salting the rounds is imperative; without salting and shaking off the water, eggplant and squash are so high in moisture that they can become soggy when fried. I use an immersible thermometer to constantly read temperature. My draining rack (barely visible in the right side of the picture) is a cooling rack over yesterday’s WSJ.

The coarse bread crumbs give a nice nutty crunch. As I ate, I thought that two large rounds with a piece of cheddar would make a nice veggie burger on a bun, ready for ketchup and mustard and other summer condiments.

Prep time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Taste: [rate3.5]
Ease: [rate 4]

Apparently, I’m Friendly

First Impressions are everything. How do people perceive you?

You are such a hard person to come by!! You always give everyone a second chance and the benefit of the doubt, which if you didn’t already know, is very hard to find in people. You don’t necessarily put everyone before yourself but you defiantly care about everyone that you meet no matter the circumstance. NEVER LOSE THAT QUALITY!!
Take this quiz!

I would call this assessment situationally dependent. Basically, I really enjoy meeting people, so I do try to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, if they start talking about how funny it is to tie a plastic bag to their cat’s tail, I think my cheery attitude quickly degrades.

Also, I’m not sure if the author meant “defiantly” or “definitely,” but I like the idea that I am defiant in my niceness.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix directed by David Yates

harrypotterandtheorder.JPGIMDB link

Well, another Harry Potter movie is on the books.  I’m not a huge fan like some, but the series of movies are well-made, and nerds of all types can enjoy fantasy movies.

Having never read a Potter series book, each movie unfolds as totally new to me.  I thoroughly enjoy the creative ways that the screenwriter has made a tome into a manageable movie instead of a four-hour painstaking recreation.

The plot unfolds quickly, with a sugary sweet villain.  I was a little taken aback by the notion that the Ministry of Magic would be foolish enough to deny that Voldemort had returned, but it was a minor flaw.  The totalitarian rule of the new headmaster results in a secret society of young magicians: this seemed to be a reflection of what happens when any ruling body removes all individual freedom/power.

Lush decor in every scene was fantastic eye candy.  I felt that Hogwarts was real at every turn.  The CGI only distracted me briefly, except for the 3D section.  I saw the film in IMAX and it had the Dumbledore versus Voldemort battle unfold in 3D.  While many of the images were breathtaking and showed amazing perspective, I was sometimes so busy studying the 3D flaws that I stopped watching the film.  Plus, donning and doffing the glasses took me out of the magical world each time.

Ron’s role was dwarfed by Hermoine’s, and that might not have been a bad thing.  He was a comic foil that was overused in the last Potter film.  I really liked his character, though, and missed him.

The best line of the movie?  Hermoine: “[Ron,] you have the emotional range of a teaspoon.”

A great film for die-hard fans and for casual nerds like me.  Possibly the best of the entire series.

[rate 4.5]