“An Eggplant Cajun”
Here it is – the last of the posts from our Oscar Party, and my favorite… “An Eggplant Cajun” for the film “An Education”. For some reason we didn’t have any trouble with this title, and once we thought of the name Ryan found this recipe online. While it was super easy to veganize, I had no idea how these would turn out, however I can honestly say that these seemed to be the biggest hit of the party.
I served the eggplant slices with a remoulade sauce from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook. (If you don’t already have this book, I really recommend getting it. The photos are beautiful, it’s full of great information, and the recipes are tasty!) I was nervous because the recipe calls for a bit of red pepper, which I usually can’t stand. Once I tasted the finished sauce I forgot all about the pepper. This sauce was amazing, and it was also really easy to make.
Below is my veganized version of the eggplant recipe. The changes are pretty minor, but I found I needed more breading than what the recipe called for so I’ve doubled those amounts. I also cut the eggplant slices into half moon shapes, because I thought they’d be easier to eat than round discs. You might need more of the “milk” mixture depending on the size of your eggplant. And if you don’t like eggplant or are serving this to someone who doesn’t, don’t worry! At least three people told me they didn’t like eggplant before trying these, and then they couldn’t stop eating them.
Spicy Cajun Deep-Fried Eggplant
1 large eggplant, cut width-wise into 1/8-inch slices
1 tablespoon EnerG egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
few drops of hot sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste [I used a bit less]
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup nutritional yeast
vegetable oil for frying
In a large heavy skillet, heat about 2 -3 inches of the vegetable oil over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Watch to make sure the oil doesn’t smoke, and remove it from the heat to cool if it does begin to smoke. Heat the oven to 200 degrees F, and place an empty baking sheet on the middle rack.
In wide, shallow bowl, combine the nutritional yeast, cornmeal, and spices. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the EnerG with the warm water. Add the non-dairy milk and hot sauce, and whisk to combine.
Dip the eggplant slices in the cornmeal mixture, then into the “milk” mixture, then back to the cornmeal mixture. Place the slices into the hot oil in batches, making sure to not crowd the skillet. Cook the slices until golden, turning them over carefully with tongs at least once. It should take about 2 minutes on each side.
Once the slices are cooked, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off some of the oil. You can keep the slices warm in the oven while you fry the rest of the eggplant, but these also taste great served at room temperature. You can serve them with hot sauce, a seasoned vegan mayo, or my new favorite – some remoulade sauce. Enjoy!