Eggplant Fritters Stuffed with Molten Mozzarella

September 29, 2009

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Another delicious party recipe, compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets.

EGGPLANT FRITTERS STUFFED WITH MOLTEN MOZZARELLA

Don’t know where this recipe originated. I think I first saw it in a Marcella Hazan cookbook. More recently I saw a version in Bon Appetit magazine, which is the source I adapted my version from. Whoever came up with the original certainly had two of my favorite flavors in mind… cheese and fried. How could you go wrong!

INGREDIENTS

2 large eggplants

1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided

Olive oil (for brushing)

Canola or vegetable oil (for frying)

2 large eggs

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour

3 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 15 cubes) or 3 ounces smallest bocconcini

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut eggplants crosswise into ½ inch slices. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and arrange in a colander. Place colander in sink and let stand about 30 minutes, until eggplant slices begin to sweat and give up liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 2 large baking sheets with olive oil. Pat eggplant dry with paper towels and arrange in a single layer on prepared sheets. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake until eggplant is tender and dry, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly; coarsely chop.
  3. Whisk 1 egg, grated Parmesan, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, thyme, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped eggplant (mixture will be soft.) Spread 1 cup breadcrumbs on plate. Whisk 1 egg and the flour in a small bowl. Press and shape eggplant mixture into 1 ¼ inch balls. Press 1 piece of mozzarella into the center of each ball, making sure to reshape the eggplant mixture so it covers the cheese completely. Dip balls, one at a time, into egg batter. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat.
  4. Pour enough canola oil into a large skillet to reach a depth of ½ inch; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add balls to skillet; sauté until browned, turning often, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST AT

ELIZABETH W. GIFT BASKETS!

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