We belong to a CSA and I look forward every week to all the great produce. Sometimes it can be a challenge to use all the bounty, especially when you have a picky husband. I happen to love eggplant in almost any form, but my husband dislikes most of the eggplant recipes I use. I'm always on the look out for new recipes that he'll eat since eggplant appears frequently in our basket. I found and tried this recipe from the "back to school" Penzey's spice catalog yesterday. It's a keeper! I did have to tweak it due to available ingredients, but we really liked it. Here's the original recipe.
Sandy's Eggplant Patties
1 medium eggplant (about 1.5 lbs), ends removed, peeled and cubed
1 3/4 c round butter crackers (about 48), crushed and divided
1 1/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 TB fresh parsley (or 2 tsp parsley flakes)
2 TB sliced green onion
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 tsp Penzey's minced garlic)
1/2 tsp Kosher flake-style salt
1/4 tsp Penzey's freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Place in a mixing bowl and mash until smooth. Stir in one cup of the cracker crumbs, the cheese, egg, parsleyy, green onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Shape into patties. Place the remaining cracker crumbs on a rimmed plate. Coat the eggplant patties in crumbs on both sides. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. The oil should sizzle when a small amount of batter is dropped into the skillet. Add the patties, 3-4 at a time, don't crowd the pan. Shake the pan a bit to keep the patties from sticking. Carefully turn after about 2-3 minutes, when the bottoms are golden. Cook the other sides until golden, about 2-3 minutes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: About 4-6 minutes per batch
Yield: 8-12 patties depending on size.
Nutritional info: Servings 12; Serving size 1 patty (54 g) Calories 160, Calories from fat 110, total fat 12 g, cholestoral 20 mg, sodium 200 mg, carbohydrate 9 g, dietary fiber <1 gram, sugars 1 g, protein 3 gr.
Here's how I tweaked it.
My eggplant was skimpy so I added a small zucchini so that I had about 1.5 lbs of veggie. I steamed the eggplant and zucchini together, and after draining it, I pureed it in my food processor. I only had 3/4 of a sleeve of Ritz crackers so I made up the rest of the cracker crumbs with some saltines. I added extra parsley and green onion (I had an overabundance of both these in our basket). I made the batter early in the day since I knew dinner was going to be rushed, and didn't mix in the cracker crumbs until I was ready to cook. I found the batter to be VERY loose, so I added some extra crumbs and used some panko to round out the coating crumbs. These did fall apart fairly easily. I might try adding a 2nd egg the next time I make this. I'm guessing the amount of veggie and its moisture varies!. I used a scant 1/4 cup of olive oil as the frying medium.
I should have taken a picture, but as usual thought of it after the fact! We ended up eating these as the main course with cukes and tomatoes as a side dish. My husband loved them.