A typical south Louisiana special treat, my gluten free Cajun fried eggplant's an elegant appetizer, side dish or snack. Salted eggplant slices, battered with cassava flour, egg and gluten free crumbs. Then fried for just minutes until perfectly crispy on the outside and unbelievably tender on the inside. Served with my Creole basil aioli for a bit of zesty tartness injected into each savory, succulent bite. Yep and yay...
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Gluten Free Cajun Fried Eggplant with Creole Basil Aioli Screams Summer to Me, Y'all. Yep.
The south Louisiana tradition of breading and frying everything we can possibly get our hands no doubt led to the time-tested popularity of Cajun fried eggplant. It's sooo easy and tasty that I personally do not know anyone who doesn't just love it.
When I first went gluten free in 2010, the GF packaged food world was nothing like it is today. Now, I can just pop right over to my local grocery store and pick up GF bread and flours for just slightly more than their wheat-laden counterparts. But, back then, everything I bought at the store labeled bread was mostly a dense, unpalatable mess that I had to food-doctor with every herb and spice I had in the kitchen to get down my throat. These sub-par GF items were also crazy expensive.
So, I used to literally have to add gluten free sticker shock insult to the 'I-can't-believe-I've-been-reduced-to-this' flavor and texture oral injury. Sad, sad shake of the head...
Luckily, really great gluten free packaged food companies have risen up to take the sting out of our forced way of life. GF breads, crackers, pasta and every other comfort food craving button that was once held back from us is now readily available.
I eat mainly naturally gluten free foods now. But, I also still get my fried food fix on every now and then. So, when I do get my fix, I do it up right with recipes from my childhood like this gluten free Cajun fried eggplant. This time I added one of my very first blog posts, mock Creole basil aioli, to make this gluten free fried foods experience even more south Louisiana special.
How to Make Gluten Free Cajun Fried Eggplant with Creole Basil Aioli For Your Next GF Fried Foods Fix
Start the Cajun fried eggplant by slicing a medium eggplant in roughly ⅛-inch to ¼-inch slices. Then, season liberally with salt, and let sit for 1 hour. This step tenderizes the eggplant flesh. And it also removes the faint bitter taste some raw eggplants seem to have.
While the eggplant slices sit, prepare the Creole basil aioli in a bowl with a fitted lid. Then, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Once the salting eggplant hour goes by, grab three shallow bowls. Fill the first with cassava flour sprinkled with SP&C. In the next bowl, add the eggs, hot sauce, cane vinegar and milk. In the third bowl, add the bread crumbs and Parmesan/Romano blend cheese. Stir the contents of each bowl until well-incorporated. (I just couldn't resist showing y'all the funny and cute 'egg eyes' in the second bowl. 🙂
Finally, dip each salted eggplant slice into the cassava flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the GF bread crumbs/cheese mixture. Shake off excess, and fry each slice for 2 to 3 minutes in a cast iron skillet, turning once.
The first thing you notice when you bite into one of these gluten free fried Cajun eggplant slices is the perfectly crunchy texture. This is made possible by the double-batter system that I use.
Next, your tongue gets bombarded with the herby, cheesy flavor bomb. Finally, you reach the inside of the fried eggplant flesh, which is super tender and flavor-soaked with the tinges of sweet cane vinegar and sassy hot sauce.
Then, you dip your first fried eggplant slice into my Creole basil aioli. And your tastebuds are taken straight out of the Earth's atmosphere to a heavenly realm where this easy, pantry sauce has now transformed the over-the-top crunchy and delicious eggplant flesh into a satisfying spiritual experience.
The perfect summer treat, this gluten free appetizer or side dish is perfect for using up the last of the eggplant in your home garden. It's also worth heading straight to the store right now to try and delight in with others.
Share with gluten free Cajun fried eggplant with Creole basil aioli with those whose presence helps you rise above every single one of life's daily stress-out sessions. And see y'all on the yum side...
Gluten Free Cajun Fried Eggplant with Creole Basil Aioli
For the Creole Basil Aioli
- 1 batch Creole Basil Aioli
For the Gluten Free Cajun Fried Eggplant
- 1 medium eggplant
- salt to taste
- 3 cups oil for frying
- 1 cup cassava flour
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon Steene's cane vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 to 3 cups seasoned gluten free bread crumbs
- Prepare the Creole Basil Aioli. Cover and refrigerate until use.
- Slice the eggplant into ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick slices.
- Arrange eggplant slices over a vented baking rack.
- Sprinkle each slice as liberally as you feel comfortable with salt. (If you are on a salt-restricted diet, use as little salt as possible, then don't add any additional salt to the cassava flour later.)
- Let the salted eggplant slices sit for 1 hour.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
- Arrange three bowls in a row near the fryer. In the first one, place the cassava flour with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, if desired.
- Crack the eggs into the second bowl. Add the vinegar, milk and hot sauce. Whisk or fork lightly to combine.
- Pour the gluten free seasoned bread crumbs into the third bowl, closest to the fryer.
- Dip the salted eggplant slices first in the cassava flour, then in the egg/milk mixture, then in the seasoned bread crumbs.
- Fry in small batches for about 1 ½ minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with Creole Basil Aioli.
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