It’s so easy to get stuck in the “what do you want for dinner” rut, the one where someone asks The Question and the conversational volleyball continues with the same old “I dunno, what do you want?” It always seems to end with takeout or scrounging around in the pantry until you come up with a frankenmeal that no one loves (and even that sometimes leads to takeout, after a lot more wasted effort).
Other times, though, those on-the-fly meals become something great, and you have to write them down and remember them for next time.
Tonight was one of those meals:
Wash, peel and slice your eggplant into half-inch slices. I’m sure we already know the old trick of cutting off the bottom and top and setting the eggplant on the newly flattened base, but in case you didn’t don’t worry, we won’t tell.
A note about the vegetable peeler in the bottom photo: not the ideal tool, it turns out. Just use a big knife, and a steady hand.
And be careful.
Dip the slices, one at a time, first into a dish of light coconut milk or egg wash and then into bradcrumbs.
Next set the slices into a preheated pan with olive oil. Heat should be medium-high or your eggplant will just get soggy and gross. I used a lemon-infused olive oil, but whatever works (Whoah, and that’s how you sound like a hipster foodie douche – sorry about that).
Cook the slices for about two to three minutes on each side, until the breadcrumb coating is golden brown but the eggplant is still firm.
After all eggplant slices are cooked and set aside, wipe the pan clean and pour in your butter masala sauce and about a quarter cup of the coconut milk.
I used a pre-packaged sauce I’ve little had sitting in the pantry for a couple weeks. It’s zesty, but not hot. Pepper it up if you’d like. I wasn’t feeling heat today.
Return the cooked eggplant to the sauce and simmer on low heat for a few minutes to allow the eggplant to soak up some flavor.
Serve up with paprika-roasted baby carrots and lemon-jasmine rice and eat it before someone steals it (it’s that good).