SOMETHING LIKE RATATOUILLE
Yields: 2 servings
1 cup of a proper tomato sauce (or a quick tomato sauce)
2 cups cheddar polenta
4-6 baby eggplants (preferably a long, thin variety), quartered length-wise into fries
1 TBS high heat oil
1/2 cup flour, 2 egg whites, 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, salt
4 baby red bell peppers
2 small (young) zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 TBS butter, 2 cloves garlic, salt, pepper
First prepare the sauce and cheddar polenta.
To bread the eggplant fries, get a three bowls ready- one with flour, one with whisked egg whites, and one with panko and salt.
Add oil to a large pan over medium high heat. When it comes to temperature, begin working in an assembly line fashion. Dip each fry in the flour, then the egg white, then the panko, then place it into the hot oil. Shallow fry the eggplant for just about 2 minutes on each side, or until they're a deep golden brown. When they're finished, set them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil and salt them.
Char the baby red bell peppers directly on the burner over medium high heat, turning whenever one side starts to char. Meanwhile, get a small pan over medium heat with butter and garlic. Let the garlic cook for a minute or so before adding in the zucchini. Saute the zucchini for about 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Since I make the sauce polenta early on and generally finish off the eggplant fries before the other elements, I like to do a little reheating before I plate this up. You can reheat the polenta and sauce on the stove or in the microwave. The eggplant fries are best attended to by popping them on a tray in the oven or toaster oven and broiling them for a couple of minutes. Plate up any way you'd like- everything tastes good dipped and mixed with everything else so you can do no wrong.