About a year and a half ago, I bought my house. Now, I wish it had been as easy as pack up my crap, throw some paint on the walls and settle in, but it wasn’t. I bought the house dirt cheap but then literally tore it down to the studs. Luckily, I had my apartment until February of this year, but when I moved in things were still rough. Rough like I didn’t have hot water or a shower for a couple weeks. Rough like I didn’t have a kitchen until May. (Mind you, I did have a grill and now I’m really good at grilling too.)
So the point of all this is to say that the other day I was cleaning up the kitchen, you know the usual washing dishes and wiping down counters when I realized EVERYTHING was filthy. I noticed a smudge on one of my cabinet fronts, probably from opening/closing a drawer while my hands were dirty from cooking. Then I noticed drips down the front of the sink cabinet. Have you ever had the snowball effect take over your cleaning? About an hour later I realized that I had scrubbed every surface in the kitchen. Really though, how did it get so dirty in so little time? Probably from the the amount of meals I’ve cooked drunk, and the herd of animals I call pets.
In my newly cleaned kitchen I prepped myself a delicious lunch of fried eggplant sandwiches. Usually when I make this, my dad’s around to spilt the bounty with me, but this time I had it all to myself, so instead of closing it up and having chips or a salad on the side, I ate it open-face style… With lots of cheese.
I’m a fatty, I know. But if you want to enjoy this decadence yourself, here’s how:
Fried Eggplant Sandwich with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 small eggplant
- Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Cajun seasoning
- 2 eggs, whisked for dredging.
- Ciabatta bread
- Sliced mozzarella
- Half a container of cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Fill a shallow frying pan with about a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil and heat on high.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I used my toaster oven to preserve some time and energy)
- On a small baking pan toss cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, roast in oven for about 15 minutes, until soft and a few begin to burst.
- Slice eggplant into quarter inch rounds.
- Set up your breading station. I like to pour my breadcrumbs into a pie pan so I have plenty of room to bread my eggplant slices.
- Dip each piece of eggplant into the egg then into the breadcrumbs seasoned with a little Cajun seasoning.
- Once they’re all breaded, start frying in small batches. Usually it takes 2-3 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, toast your ciabatta.
- Once everything’s all cooked, assemble your sandwiches. I like to layer eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, more tomatoes. Maybe repeat… Depending on how fat I’m feeling.