I am normally not a gadget person when it comes to cooking, My Phillips Air Fryer changed my perception of cooking appliances. I use my air fryer so often that it has become a cooking stable in my repertoire of recipes.
Eggplant is a favorite vegetable from my childhood. My mother, if you follow my blog you know she is my soul and inspiration as a cook, used eggplant repeatedly when she cooked. Not just to make traditional Eggplant Parmesan but in a variety of interesting dishes that she served to her family.
I combined using my air fryer with my love of eggplant to create Eggplant fries. Served with my quick marinara sauce for a delicious appetizer or side dish.
1 large eggplant
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. water
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat air-fryer to 375F. Coat fryer basket with cooking spray.
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Slice into 2 inch long strips. Place it in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt (don’t worry, you’ll be rinsing most of it off before you cook it) and let it sit for about an hour. Before using, thoroughly rinse the eggplant and pat dry.
Put the flour into a shallow bowl. Stir together eggs and watering another shallow bowl. Put panko and parmesan cheese in a third shallow bowl. Dredge eggplant in flour and then in egg and then in pinko-cheese, shaking off the excess. Arrange half of eggplant or third if using a small air-fryer in the prepared basket. Coat with cooking spray.
Cook 10-12 minutes, turning once until eggplant is golden and crispy. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
Serve with Marinara Sauce.
Quick Marinara Sauce
1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, I love certified D.O.P.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large fresh basil sprig, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands. Pour 1 cup water into can and slosh it around to get tomato juices. Reserve.
In a large skillet (do not use a deep pot) over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add garlic.
As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown or garlic will become bitter), add the tomatoes, then the reserved tomato water. Add whole chile or red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir.
Simmer sauce until thickened, about 15 minutes. Place basil sprig, including stem on the surface. Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce and simmer the sauce for an additional 5 minutes. Discard basil and chile (if using).