Pané Eggplant Snack and Appetizer
with Fragrant Tomato Dip
The term Pané is used in our cuisine, as in the French, for foods that are coated with a breadcrumb mixture, and fried. The Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of these delicious Pané foods. While the term is French, the method of cooking is not exclusive to the French and the Lebanese, obviously. It is widely used in many cuisines, and widely loved for the delicious crunchiness it brings to our palate.
Today, I am bringing another eggplant recipe because of the high nutritious value of this vegetable. Today, it’s about cooking it as an appetizer and snack with this easy and delightful recipe.
Soft and mellow in the inside, crunchy and cheesy in the outside, these breaded eggplant slices are great dipped in Tahini Dressing or in Tomato Sauce like today’s recipe. Served as entree or side-dish, you and your guests can top them with the sauce at the moment of consumption.
The Tomato Dip is cooked with green pepper, onions, garlic, tomato dices, and vegetable stocks. It is fragrant with Thyme, and Basil.
The recipe instructs to salt the slices of eggplants and set them aside for 30 minutes. That trick allows the eggplants to maintain their thick texture without absorbing the oil.
Do not get much concerned about the salt in this process. We wash it away under running water past the 30 minutes, and before proceeding with the cooking.
You will enjoy them, I am certain 🙂 Cheers!
Pané Eggplant Appetizer with Tomato Dip
- 4 Eggplants (medium) sliced, lightly salted, and made to set for 30 minutes.
- 2 cups Breadcrumbs
- 2 Eggs whisked
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
- Vegetable Oil to deep fry
For the Tomato Dip
- 1 can (large) Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Onion (medium) chopped finely
- 1/2 Green Pepper finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic pounded
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 cubes Vegetable stock
- 2 tbsps Tomato Paste
- 1 dash Dry Thyme
- 2 tbsps Fresh Basil chopped
- 2 tbsps Olive Oil pure, for cooking
Set up on your working counter a plate of flour, a plate of breadcrumbs, and a plate of the cheese. Add a bowl and whisk in the milk and egg together.
Wash off the salt from the eggplant slices and pat them dry.
One by one, pass them on the flour to coat them on both sides, then on the milk mixture, then on the cheese, and then on the breadcrumbs. Ensure you are coating each well with all these ingredients.
Set them aside, separated, on a tray or on a wire rack.
Making the Sauce
Over medium heat, warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions and cook to withering. Stir in the green peppers and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and cook to fragrance, stirring often.
Stir in the tomato dices with their liquid. Pour in the water, add the tomato paste, the dry Thyme, and the vegetable cubes, and stir. Turn on the heat to High and bring to a steam.
When the sauce barely starts bubbling, decrease the heat to low, and allow simmering for 10 minutes.
TIP: Taste the sauce to ensure it's seasoned well. Some vegetable cubes come less salty and seasoned than others. Decide on how strong the seasoning you want it, and season accordingly with some salt and pepper.
Stir in the chopped basil, allow it to simmer 2 more minutes. Cover and turn off the heat.
Deep Frying the Eggplants
In a deep frying pan, bring the oil to heat well over Medium-High heat. Carefully place in a first bulk of eggplants and deep fry them on both sides. Be pending, deep-frying is quickly done. You want the Pané eggplants to be nicely golden not dark brown.
Transfer them onto a kitchen paper-towel to remove excess of oil while you fry your next bulk. Remove them into a serving plate, change the kitchen absorbent paper, and repeat the same with the next bulk(s).
Pour the Tomato Sauce in a bowl, and serve it on the side of the eggplants.
The sauce or dip could be consumed at room temperature or cooler. The Pané eggplants are better consumed hot or warm and even at room temperature.
SOME MORE EGGPLANT RECIPES TO ENJOY