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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cooking Tips for Bachelors (1): Fried Eggplant Sandwiches

All right, kids, a lot of you may not realize that eggplant, in addition to being large, cheap, readily available, and purple, can also be quite tasty when prepared into this faux-burger type sandwich. Just follow these easy steps and you'll be chowing in half an hour, with plenty left over for 2 or 3 more lunches.

1. Cut eggplant into thin (1/4 inch or so) slices.
2. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and let sit for 20 minutes. This takes away the bitterness. Rinse well. They'll be plenty salty, so really scrub 'em.
3. Beat an egg or two and put some flour on a plate. If you're feeling really gourmet, you can add some black pepper or dried basil to the egg. (But no salt! There's enough already.
4. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. You can use any kind of oil, but I like to use olive oil so I can fool myself into thinking, "It's not really fried food, it's actually good for me."
5. Dunk the eggplant slices in the egg, one at a time. Flip them around the flour too so they're nicely coated.
6. Fry them about 5 minutes on a side, till they're golden brown. Drain them on newspaper.
7. Toast some bread, or a burger bun, or whatever you want to use as a bread-like product.
8. Slap 3 or 4 fried eggplant slices on the bread along with some sliced tomato, raw onion, cilantro if you have it, lettuce if you want, and whatever wetting substance you like (mayo, ketchup, mustard--ughh--or whatever suits you).
9. Devour with gusto.

And there you have it. One decent-sized eggplant is likely to deliver 15 to 20 slices, so you have plenty for the days ahead. And the next time you're riding in a car with someone you want to impress, you can say, "Hey, can we stop at the market? I've just run out of eggplant, and I need to get more." Then you can enjoy their bewildered silence.

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