Monday, November 30, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Recipe Revisited: Crispy Chocolate Eggplant

Nov 30, 2012

Chocolate, eggplant, sea salt, flour, olive oil. The ingredients for this recipe couldn't be more tempting. Trust me on the eggplant. 

Alajmo suggests immersing the eggplant into salted cold water. Why? It helps improve the flavor and remove the bitterness. Don’t skip this step!

I experimented with putting a skewer into the eggplant before putting it into the flower to help eliminate some of the mess. But a mess is unavoidable, especially when cooking with kids. I have to let that dream go. I don't know why I even try! 

While Alajmo uses enough olive oil to immerse the eggplant completely, I didn't mind flipping them over after a few minutes. 

Alajmo suggested cutting the eggplant into “sticks” roughly two inches long and half an inch wide. I tried that, but I prefer these squares of fried goodness!

Again with the skewers? I loved his idea of putting the eggplant on a stick or tooth pick as Alajmo suggests, but it didn't work for me. The eggplant kept getting loose and falling off. I preferred the bite-size pieces topped with chocolate and sea salt. Perfect for kids to pop into their mouths. 

My version of Melanzane al Cioccolato (Chocolate Eggplant) looks like this. Simple and delicious. I can only image how amazing it will taste with riccota cheese. Next time! 

Recipe Revisited: Crispy Chocolate Eggplant

A while ago, we posted this Eggplant Chocolate Recipe by renowned Italian chef Massimiliano Alajmo. While a very popular Italian indulgence, the flavor combination is new to me. Eggplants in a dessert dish? Then again, anything fried and covered in chocolate is usually good in my book. I was so curious to test it out. While I had to make a few slight changes, I wasn’t disappointed. This recipe has me wanting to include fried eggplant in more recipes. Imagine topping it with ricotta cheese, candied oranges, sugar, cinnamon, toasted almonds, or even lemon zest. Below are the small changes I made to the recipe, as well as a few tips. The list could go on. Enjoy the slideshow where I discuss some of the things I learned along the way. —Sharon Beesley


1 purple eggplant


Melted dark chocolate, maintained at 110°F (45°C)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying

Kosher salt crystals

Peel the eggplant and cut into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Immerse them in salted cold water for one minute. Drain the sticks thoroughly to get all the water out. Cover them in flour and fry in a high-sided skillet, browing all the sides. Place the eggplant cubes on super absorbent paper towels to soak up the oil. Top each one with melted chocolate and garnish with a few salt crystals. Serve them warm.