This is one of my favorite side dishes in the history of the universe. The first time I tried eggplant fries it was at a local pizza restaurant, they were fried not baked and I fell in love. It sparked a mission to find a way to make them at home, and at least somewhat healthier as we refuse to buy a deep fryer.
- One medium to large eggplant (dependent on how many fries you are looking to end up with)
- Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- Olive Oil
- 2-3 Eggs (We used the whole egg, you can substitute just egg whites if you are looking for a healthier alternative, however you may need extra eggs
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put your breadcrumbs in a bowl (we don’t measure this, just go by eye and add more if we run out). Crack and whip your eggs in another bowl or in a Tupperware. Use a third bowl or Tupperware for your olive oil – again we don’t measure but 2-3 tablespoons to start should be good.
Cut the top and bottom off your eggplant then cut in half. Turn each half so the cut side is facing up and then cut into cross sections creating your “fries”.
Then begin your breading process. Coat the fries lightly with olive oil. Eggplant tends to soak up oil very fast so just do a couple at a time – remember we are baking not frying. Coat in the egg followed by the breadcrumbs making sure to fully coat all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until you have breaded all of your fries.
Spray lightly with some more olive oil – this helps to get the outsides crispy.
Bake for 7-10 minutes, flip and cook an additional 7-10 minutes. Your fries will be sizzling and bubbly but the outsides will still seem soft. Now here is the trick to crispy fries – flip a second time switch your oven to broil and cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes. WATCH THEM CLOSELY! They will brown quickly, you want a nice browned look to them but if they look like they are starting to burn take them out.
Serve with your favorite protein and dig in!
I’ve had a couple special requests for this recipe, as it’s one of the go-to staples in our house and I rave about it all the time. You may remember the variation I posted utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers. Way back then I alluded to the fact that we generally make ours with chicken and broccoli, so after much ado here it is.
- 1 Large Breast of Cooked Chicken (either cubed or shredded)
- 4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened
- 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- One medium head of broccoli – diced (I only use the tops and toss the stems)
- Ground Black Pepper – to your liking
- One package of seamless crescent dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of your ingredients with the exception of the dough and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl until well combined, ensuring a good coating of cream cheese over all of the ingredients.
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or a light coating of olive oil. Prepare your dough. Lay in the center of your cookie sheet and gently press out towards the edges with your fingers to elongate and thin the dough. Make sure you do not make any holes, if you accidentally rip the dough squish back together.
Once you have achieved a decent size, cut into two pieces down the middle. Portion your filling into each of your two halves and top with remaining cheese.
Now fold it up like a Won-Ton – Ya know pinch all the edges together so the filling can’t squeak out. Ken and I each fold our own pockets, its always a competition as to whose is prettier and whose doesn’t crack open. Up to you whether you turn this into a cook-off or not – it may or may not make dinner prep more fun.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Then enjoy all the ooey gooey deliciousness that is the Pocket.
One of the best things about this recipe is the versatility. You can literally put any kind of meat or veggie in here and its a great way to use up leftovers. Some varieties we’ve tried include:
- Steak, Pepper and Onion
- Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese
- Chicken, Olive and Feta
Give it a shot and let me know what you think!