It's Friday, the 13th. Ooooo...Cue scary Halloween/Twilight Zone theme music. Have your lucky charms with you at all times. I'm not very superstitious. I've walked on several cracks and my mom is still walking upright. I do have certain rituals I do to keep myself in the "good luck vibe." I've thrown the occasional salt over the shoulder and a "knock on wood" every now and then. Are you superstitious? You don't have to tell me, if you don't want to.
Just like the my baked zucchini sticks, its relative cousin is the oven-fried eggplant. It's alter ego is the deep-fried kind. We're veering away from the alter ego for a moment to concentrate on the cousin.
Here's a neat little trick I learned from a friend to help it stay crispy. I cut the eggplant into 1/3-inch pieces toss them in a little salt and lay them flat on a baking pan for 1 hour. 1/2 hour would suffice. This takes out the moisture from the vegetable, so you'll get water droplettes on them. Pat the pieces dry with a paper towel them dredge them in the usual breading method of flour, egg wash, and my favorite, panko crumbs.
Baked them for 20-25 minutes and what I was left with was a nice crispy, yet still slightly tender inside. A healthy version of the fried stuff
2-3 long Japanese eggplants (cut into coins)
1/4 c flour
1 egg - beaten
1/3 c milk
2-3 c panko
salt and pepper
horseradish mustard dip (recipe below)
Cut the egg plants into 1/3-1/2 inch chips. Place on a baking pan and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let it sit for at least 1/2-hour to let the moisture out of the eggplant. Then pat it dry with a paper towel.
Preheat your oven 400˚F
Cut the egg plants into 1/3-1/2 inch chips.
Create three breading stations
1 - flour seasoned with some salt and pepper
2 - Egg with milk - seasoned with pinch of salt
3 - panko crumbs
Bread each piece of eggplant 1, 2, and 3 in that order and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes. Give the pieces a flip half way through for an even browning.
Horseradish mustard Dip
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp horseradish mustard
1 tsp lime juice
Combine all ingredients together.