Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recipe Recreations...

This weekend I decided to recreate a couple of the dishes I loved at Poppy in Seattle.  Particularly the Crab, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad and the Eggplant fries.

First, the eggplant fries...
I was a bit nervous to try these because I don’t love eggplant - but I did love these at Poppy and I felt like I could make it work.  Also, I knew I wanted to bake them since I wanted them to be healthier and frying is just messy.  I found this recipe and felt it came close to what I was wanting.  It was a good start but I had to change it quite a bit.

I had also considered doing 2 batches - one just like the recipe and one where I dessicated the eggplant.  But the more I looked at recipes, no one was using the desiccation technique, so I decided it wasn’t worth it.

Initially I tried exactly what the recipe called for but it just didn’t work.  The eggplant is too slick and wet and the panko and breadcrumb mixture didn’t stick at all.  Michael suggested removing the “fries” and wiping them clean and then coating them in flour first.  That seemed to work at first, but when I got to the breadcrumb step again, still nothing stuck.  So I decided to start over entirely.  Luckily, I had planned to only use ½ the eggplant, so I had the other half to try some adjustments.

I got rid of everything and started from scratch.  After slicing the eggplant, I coated the fries in flour, then coated them in 2 WHOLE eggs, not just egg white.  I want them to be as low-cal as possible, but I just don’t think the egg whites have enough binder.  Then I coated them in the panko mixture and it worked perfectly.  I cooked them for about 12 mins and they were perfectly crisp and tasty.  And then, with the honey, they were ooey, gooey yumminess.  Truly a perfect sub for fries.

Some notes:
Pre-coat with flour (possibly add salt to flour)
Use whole eggs (may not need to do this - when I make these again I will try just the whites to make sure)
More salt in bread crumbs, plus add herbs
Maybe drizzle with olive oil before going in oven - the Poppy fries were more luscious (but I also think theirs were actually fried)
Michael suggested taking the skin off the eggplant, but it didn’t bother me

Eggplant Fries
Makes about 60-70 fries

1/2 large Eggplant, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup Flour
1 cup Panko
1/2 cup Plain Bread Crumbs
Seasonings - I used garlic salt, paprika, & cinnamon (but I would add Herbs and more salt next time)
2 Whole Eggs
2 Tbsp Honey

Preheat oven to 400. 
Slice your eggplant into very thin strips.
Put flour in ziploc bag.
Whisk two eggs in a medium-large bowl. 
Add 2 cups panko, 1 cup plain bread crumbs and seasonings to a ziploc bag and shake.
Place a handful of your raw eggplant fries into the bag of flour and shake to coat.
Then transfer to bowl with the eggs and coat well.
Place egg coated eggplant fries into the panko/bread crumb mixture and shake all around to coat the fries with the mixture.
Place your coated eggplant fries onto your pan (not overlapping) and cook about 10-12 minutes, or until browned and crispy. 
Once out of the oven, sprinkle with kosher salt.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce - I drizzled them with honey

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size - 12 fries; Calories 168; Total Fat 2.67g; Sodium 167.28mg; Total Carbohydrate 30.47g; Sugars 2.8g; Protein 5.8g


Then I made the Crab, Avocado, Hearts of Palm & Grapefruit Salad.  I just made this up from what I remembered.  Obviously I knew the main ingredients, but I couldn’t remember if there were greens and if there were, I didn’t know what kind.  I decided I wanted some kind of green.  I wanted to use watercress because I thought their delicateness would be a perfect compliment.  But I couldn’t find any, so I went with arugula because it’s my favorite green right now.

Then there was the dressing.  Again, I couldn’t really remember what they had, but I seem to recall a citrusy quality.  I went with grapefruit juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and a little, really good olive oil.  I was super happy with this and may use it on other salads!

Also, we tried to be thrifty and bought claw meat - being from New Orleans we both love the claw meat, but for this salad, you really need the clean, fresh flavor of the lump.  And, ideally, the freshest crab possible.

Overall it was quite yummy - very light and full of citrus flavor, which makes it a perfect spring salad.  Honestly, you could leave the crab off entirely and it would be a good, inexpensive, weeknight salad.

Some notes:
Use fresh, good quality, lump crab meat
Loved everything else, especially the dressing
Would like to try it with watercress

Crab, Avocado, Hearts of Palm and Grapefruit Salad

Makes 2 salads

For Salad:
2 cups Arugula Or Watercress
¼ Avocados, diced very small
4 - 6 Tbsp Lump Crab Meat, separated into chunks
2 stalks Hearts Of Palm, sliced finely
½ Grapefruit, separated into segments

For Dressing:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Honey
⅛ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ tsp Salt

For the dressing: whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  (note: this makes more than the 2 salads, so you can save what's left for other salads)

For the salad:
Place 1 cup arugula in a bowl
Add 1 Tbsp diced avocado (about ¼ of ½ avocado)
Add 2 - 4 Tbsp crab
Add 1 stalk, sliced hearts of palm
Add 4 grapefruit segments
Cover with 2-3 tbsp of the dressing and mix gently with fingers to keep everything from breaking apart

Repeat for second salad.

Nutrition Facts:
Salad: Calories - 68; Total Fat - 4.4g; Sodium - 170mg; Sugars - 2.8g; Protein - 2.6g
Dressing: Calories - 40; Total Fat - 2.7g; Sodium - 58mg; Sugars - 3.7g; Protein - 0

1 comment:

  1. These recipes seemed to turn out well! I can't wait to make them myself ;)