This afternoon, I told my kids that we were again experimenting with grilled cheese. I received a very astounding, “ahhh….Mom…” I think they may be over it. Little did they know this was going to be pretty much the best thing ever. When I was grocery shopping, I was intending to pick up some normal eggplant. Instead, I found these adorable little ones! See!?!? Seriously, they are the size of an egg. SO cute!
At first, I considered putting eggplant between layers of bread. Yeah, kinda boring. I eventually decided to get rid of the bread, and just use eggplant and cheese. Good, good, good.
Since they were so little, I decided they would make a wonderful appetizer. The kids were thrilled they didn’t have to eat grilled cheese again. Really, whose kids protest grilled cheese? Um, yeah. Mine.
To begin, thinly slice the eggplant, I used 4 small ones. After they are all sliced, sprinkle with a very small amount of salt. I’m not sure if it is an old wives’ tale, but I have always heard that salt draws out the bitterness. It could be true, maybe not. I figure it can’t hurt. Salt is good!
While the eggplant sits for a few minutes, combine the following in 3 separate dishes. Glass pie plates work wonderfully.
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Seasoned breadcrumbs – I added crushed red pepper, onion powder, and ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese to 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs.
Coat the eggplant in flour. Place in the egg mixture, coat thoroughly, and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Let the eggplant rest for a few minutes.
Slice fresh mozzarella cheese and heat marinara sauce. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a couple tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil.
Pan fry in the oil heated at medium heat. After they are browned on both sides, assemble the “sandwich.” Take a piece of eggplant and top with a small amount of marinara sauce along with a slice of the mozzarella. Finally, top with another piece of eggplant. Enjoy!
P.S. My kids loved them as well!