How to make fried Aubergine Balls Guide:
Fried aubergine balls with melted cheese are a delicious appetizer or snack that combines the rich flavors of eggplant and gooey melted cheese. Here’s what you need to know about this delightful dish:
- Preparation: To make fried aubergine balls with melted cheese, you’ll start by preparing the eggplant. The eggplant is typically peeled and cubed, then lightly salted and left to sit for a short time to draw out excess moisture and bitterness. Afterward, the eggplant is rinsed and squeezed to remove the salt and excess moisture.
- Breading: The drained eggplant cubes are coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley. This coating provides a crispy and flavorful exterior when fried.
- Frying: The breaded eggplant cubes are then deep-fried or pan-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy. Frying gives them a satisfying crunch while sealing in the tender and creamy texture of the eggplant.
- Melting Cheese: Once the aubergine balls are fried, they are often topped with a slice or dollop of melting cheese, such as mozzarella or provolone. The cheese is then melted by briefly placing the fried balls in the oven or under a broiler until it becomes soft and gooey.
- Serving: Fried aubergine balls with melted cheese are commonly served as an appetizer or snack. They can be enjoyed on their own, with a side of marinara or tomato sauce for dipping, or even as part of a larger meal, such as served over pasta or with a side salad.
- Variations: The recipe for fried aubergine balls with melted cheese can be customized to your taste. You can experiment with different herbs, spices, or types of cheese to add more complexity to the dish. Some variations may include stuffing the eggplant balls with additional ingredients like minced garlic, diced tomatoes, or herbs.
Fried aubergine balls with melted cheese offer a delightful combination of crispy, savory, and creamy flavors. They make for an excellent vegetarian appetizer or indulgent treat for cheese lovers.
Piero’s Recipe from the video:
- Aubergine / Eggplant
- Basil Leaves
- Scamorza cheese (or any cheese you like) Scamorza is an Italian Salted Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- Salt & Pepper
How do you fry Eggplant without it getting soggy?
To fry eggplant without it getting soggy, you can follow these steps:
- Choose the right eggplant: Look for firm and glossy eggplants that are relatively small in size. These tend to have fewer seeds and less moisture content, resulting in a firmer texture after frying.
- Slice and salt the eggplant: Slice the eggplant into your desired shape, such as rounds or strips. Sprinkle salt over the slices and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Salting helps draw out excess moisture from the eggplant, preventing it from becoming soggy during frying. After 30 minutes, rinse the salt off the slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat the oil: Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil. Preheat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot but not smoking.
- Dredge the eggplant: Lightly coat each slice of eggplant in flour or breadcrumbs. This creates a thin protective layer that helps to absorb any remaining moisture and adds crispness to the eggplant.
- Fry in batches: Place a few slices of eggplant in the hot oil, ensuring they are not overcrowded in the pan. Overcrowding the pan can lead to uneven cooking and soggy results. Fry each side until golden brown, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Use tongs or a slotted spatula to flip the slices and remove them from the pan when they are crispy and golden.
- Drain excess oil: After frying, place the cooked eggplant slices on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. This helps maintain their crispness.
By following these steps, you should be able to fry eggplant to achieve a crispy texture while minimizing sogginess. Enjoy your delicious fried eggplant!
Can you fry Aubergine / Eggplant without oil?
Frying eggplant without oil is challenging because oil is typically used to achieve a crispy and golden exterior. However, there are alternative methods you can try to cook eggplant with less oil or no oil at all. Here are a few options:
- Baking or Roasting: Slice the eggplant into your desired shape and place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush the slices with a small amount of oil or use a cooking spray to help with browning. Bake or roast the eggplant in a preheated oven at around 400°F (200°C) until it becomes tender and slightly crispy. You may need to flip the slices halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning.
- Grilling: Slice the eggplant and brush the slices with a minimal amount of oil or marinade before placing them directly on a preheated grill. Cook the eggplant over medium heat, turning occasionally, until it becomes tender and develops grill marks. This method will give the eggplant a smoky flavor and a slightly charred exterior.
- Broiling: Preheat the broiler in your oven and place the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet. Brush the slices with a thin layer of oil or marinade and place them under the broiler. Keep a close eye on the eggplant as it broils, turning it occasionally to prevent burning. Remove the eggplant when it is tender and nicely browned.
While these methods won’t provide the exact same results as frying in oil, they can still yield delicious and healthier alternatives. Experiment with different cooking times and techniques to achieve the desired texture and flavor for your eggplant dishes.
What to serve with fried Aubergine / Eggplant
Fried aubergine, also known as eggplant, can be served as a tasty appetizer, side dish, or even as a main course. Here are some delicious options to serve with fried aubergine:
- Dips and Sauces: Pair fried aubergine with various dips and sauces to enhance its flavor. Some popular choices include:
- Tzatziki: A Greek yogurt and cucumber dip with garlic and herbs.
- Hummus: A creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.
- Marinara sauce: A classic tomato-based sauce, often seasoned with herbs.
- Aioli: A garlic-infused mayonnaise, perfect for dipping.
- Rice or Grains: Serve fried aubergine alongside rice or grains to create a satisfying meal. Consider these options:
- Pilaf: Fragrant rice cooked with spices, vegetables, and sometimes nuts or dried fruits.
- Quinoa: A protein-rich grain that pairs well with aubergine. You can cook it plain or mix in some herbs and vegetables.
- Couscous: A light and fluffy grain that complements the texture of fried aubergine. Prepare it plain or with added herbs and spices.
- Salads: Balance the richness of fried aubergine with a refreshing salad. Some salad ideas include:
- Greek Salad: Combine chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, olives, and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.
- Mediterranean Salad: Mix fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette.
- Roasted Vegetable Salad: Roast a medley of vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Toss them with arugula or mixed greens and a tangy dressing.
- Yogurt-based Side: Yogurt can provide a creamy and cooling contrast to the crispy fried aubergine. Consider these options:
- Cucumber Raita: Grate cucumber and mix it with yogurt, garlic, cumin, and a pinch of salt.
- Labneh: A strained yogurt cheese that can be drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs like mint or dill.
- Pita Bread or Flatbread: Serve warm pita bread or flatbread alongside fried aubergine to create a satisfying meal. You can use them to make wraps or simply enjoy them as a side.
Feel free to mix and match these suggestions based on your preferences and create a delicious and well-balanced meal featuring fried aubergine.
Should eggplant be peeled before frying?
Whether or not to peel eggplant before frying is a matter of personal preference. The skin of eggplant is edible and contains some nutritional benefits, such as dietary fiber and antioxidants. However, the decision to peel the eggplant largely depends on the desired texture and taste.
Here are some considerations to help you decide:
- Texture: The skin of eggplant can become slightly tough and chewy after frying. If you prefer a softer and smoother texture, peeling the eggplant before frying might be a good idea.
- Bitterness: Some eggplants can have a slightly bitter taste, especially if they are larger or have matured longer. Peeling the eggplant can help reduce the bitterness, as the bitter compounds are often concentrated in the skin.
- Cooking Method: Different cooking methods can affect the texture and taste of the eggplant skin. For example, if you’re baking or roasting the eggplant, leaving the skin intact can help hold the shape of the slices. However, when frying, the skin might become chewier and less pleasant to eat.
Ultimately, the decision to peel or not peel the eggplant before frying is up to you. If you enjoy the texture and flavor of the eggplant skin or if you prefer the convenience of not peeling, you can certainly leave it on. On the other hand, if you want a softer texture and a milder taste, peeling the eggplant can be a good option.
What do you soak eggplant in before frying?
Before frying eggplant, it is common to soak it in a saltwater solution. This step is often referred to as “sweating” the eggplant and helps to draw out excess moisture and reduce any potential bitterness. Here’s how you can do it:
- Slice the eggplant: Start by slicing the eggplant into your desired shape, such as rounds or strips.
- Prepare the saltwater solution: In a large bowl or basin, dissolve salt in water. You can use approximately 1 tablespoon of salt per 4 cups (1 liter) of water. The saltwater solution should be enough to fully submerge the eggplant slices.
- Soak the eggplant: Place the eggplant slices in the saltwater solution and ensure they are fully submerged. You may need to place a plate or another object on top of the eggplant to keep them submerged. Let them soak for about 20-30 minutes.
- Drain and rinse: After the soaking time is complete, remove the eggplant slices from the saltwater solution and rinse them under running water to remove excess salt. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
By soaking the eggplant in a saltwater solution, you can remove excess moisture, which helps prevent the slices from becoming soggy during frying. Additionally, it can reduce any potential bitterness that some eggplants may have.
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