In an attempt to eat more produce last week, I arbitrarily picked this recipe as a main dish to make myself on Friday. I had it with Creamed Spinach Gratin. It was also a excuse for me to buy a box of Ritz crackers, which are delicious but not nutritious. This came together really quickly, but the proportion of eggplant to cheese seemed off. Not in a bad way necessarily, because the cheese toasted on the pan which was wonderful, but it was just odd. I ate these but didn't love them, and I wouldn't make them again.
Sandy's Eggplant Patties
Sandy was a friend of Mary's mother who was well known for this recipe. Mary reminisces, "When my sister began making eggplant patties when her kids were little, she convinced them the patties were made of meat so they would eat them, knowing they wouldn't touch them if they knew they were made of eggplant!"
1 medium eggplant -- (about 11/2 lbs.) ends removed, peeled and cubed
3 1/4 cups round butter crackers -- (about 48) crushed, divided
2 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg -- lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh parsley -- (or 2 tsp. PARSLEY FLAKES)
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 garlic clove -- minced (or 1/4 tsp. PENZEYS MINCED GARLIC)
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER-STYLE FLAKE SALT
1/4 teaspoon PENZEYS FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Place in a mixing bowl and mash until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cracker crumbs, the cheese, egg, PARSLEY, green onion, GARLIC, SALT and PEPPER. Shape into patties. Place the remaining cracker crumbs on a rimmed plate. Coat the eggplant patties in crumbs on both sides. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. The oil should sizzle when a small amount of batter is dropped into the skillet. Add the patties, 3-4 at a time; don't crowd the pan. Shake the pan a bit to keep the patties from sticking. Carefully turn after about 2-3 minutes, when the bottoms are golden. Cook the other sides until golden, about 2-3 minutes.
Yield: 8-12 patties depending on size