- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling eggplant
- 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices and then quartered
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
- Marinara sauce (optional)
Place the flour, egg, and bread crumbs each in 3 small bowls. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the egg and whisk to combine. Season the bread crumbs with the tablespoon of Essence and stir with a fork or your hands to thoroughly combine.
Dredge each piece of eggplant in the flour, coating thoroughly and then shaking to remove any excess flour. Coat each piece with the egg, then dredge in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to make the bread crumbs adhere. Transfer the eggplant pieces to a rack or to paper towels to let them dry slightly before frying.
In a deep, heavy skillet heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the eggplant pieces, in batches if necessary, for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt before serving. Serve with marinara sauce, or as desired.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.