New Orleans Fried Eggplant Sticks
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- 1 large, long eggplant (about 2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 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 leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Heat the oil in a large, heavy saute pan to 360 degrees F.
Peel the eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices (like long French fries). Toss the slices with 1 teaspoon Essence and the salt to coat evenly. Season the flour with the remaining tablespoon of Essence. Beat the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl.
Lightly dredge the eggplant slices in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Dip the coated strips into the egg wash, then back into the flour. In batches, fry the eggplant strips in the hot oil until golden, turning with a long-handled spoon as they cook to brown evenly, about 2 minutes.
Put the powdered sugar in a small decorative bowl for passing at the table.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Dip in powdered sugar as you eat.Essence:
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.