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Old 04-03-2006, 10:36 AM   #11
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No such thing as truly female and male eggplant.

The one with the oval dimple on the bootom supposedly has less seeds than the one with a round dimple.

But you are best off with fresh eggplant. As Ironchef says, old eggplants are spongy so pick up and feel the fruit before you buy. Select one that feels heavy for its size, with a glossy skin.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:44 AM   #12
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I slice and salt the eggplant,(aubergine right?) then leave it on a flat surface, and every time I come to the kitchen and see it 'sweating'(no better way to call it) I use a kitchen roll to dub the water away then turn them over and do likewise, then eventually rince and paper towel dry before cooking.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:04 AM   #13
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slice and salt, same with several varieties of cucumbers...let drain.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:05 AM   #14
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also, salting eggplant to remove moisture is imperitive when deep frying eggplant so it soes not splatter everywhere, I deep fry it when i make eggplant parmesan and eggplant fritters.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:45 PM   #15
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I think the size of the eggplant has more to do with the bitterness than anythng else. That old "salting" technique is found in old cookbooks everywhere back when fresh eggplants from the market or garden were nonexistent.

I haven't salted & drained eggplant - either from the market or from the garden - for many YEARS, & have yet to taste a ONE that was even slightly bitter.

My advice?? STOP FRYING THEM!!! This business of sauteeing them in oil until they're virtual milksops of oil is SO RIDICULOUS.

There is absolutely NO eggplant recipe that can't be wonderfully produced without having to FRY the eggplant. Think about it.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:01 PM   #16
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Also, it's not just the cooking method, but also the technique. Many home cooks share the same problem (me included when I first started) is that whenever a cooking method is called for that there is no set temperature available (meaning in either celsius or farenheit) such as sauteeing, pan frying, grilling, or deep frying, people tend to cook foods at too low a temperature which results in poor browning, oil saturation, uneven cooking, overcooking, etc. Not surprisingly, these methods also call for the most judgement in doneness, rather than just plopping something into the oven for 30 minutes at a set temp.

Like Breezy noted with the soggyness that can occur from pan frying, eggplant is one of those ingredients that doesn't have a wide margin for error. I fry eggplant but it never gets soggy with oil because I know how to do it. Like I always stress, cooking is a skill, like say painting is. Not everyone can be a Salvador Dali or Vincent Van Gough, but everyone should be able to draw a respectable landscape with enough practice and experimentation. The same thing goes for cooking. Not everyone can be a Thomas Keller or Charlie Trotter, but everyone can be able to learn how to saute or braise properly with enough practice, even to the point where they can replicate many fine dining-type restaurant recipes in their own home.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:00 PM   #17
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I agree with iron chef about good technique,I dont salt my eggplant but try to pick firm heavy eggplants I mostly grill or oven roast them and have never had a problem.Im wondering if the bitterness isn't in the skin.Maybe you just got a bad eggplant I dont know.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
I think the size of the eggplant has more to do with the bitterness than anythng else. That old "salting" technique is found in old cookbooks everywhere back when fresh eggplants from the market or garden were nonexistent.

I haven't salted & drained eggplant - either from the market or from the garden - for many YEARS, & have yet to taste a ONE that was even slightly bitter.

My advice?? STOP FRYING THEM!!! This business of sauteeing them in oil until they're virtual milksops of oil is SO RIDICULOUS.

There is absolutely NO eggplant recipe that can't be wonderfully produced without having to FRY the eggplant. Think about it.
I didn't use oil. I find most things that can be thrown in a pan produce enough grease or moisture as they cook... It was still bitter
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:17 AM   #19
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Second failure.

I played it safe this time - I sliced it into sticks, took off the skin and the whole seedy part. I salted one side, wiped off the liquid after a few minutes, other side, rinced, wiped off again. I put the sticks in a pan over med-high with no oil, until they were soft and golden-brown. I made myself a yummy-looking sandwich. It's not as bad as the first one, but it's still bitter.

I'm wondering if my eggplant is at fault. We don't get very fresh vegetables down here. It was the bigger kind, a little soft but not too spongy, the skin wasn't wrinkly.

What a waste... I'm throwing another sandwich away.
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biev
Second failure.

I played it safe this time - I sliced it into sticks, took off the skin and the whole seedy part. I salted one side, wiped off the liquid after a few minutes, other side, rinced, wiped off again. I put the sticks in a pan over med-high with no oil, until they were soft and golden-brown. I made myself a yummy-looking sandwich. It's not as bad as the first one, but it's still bitter.

I'm wondering if my eggplant is at fault. We don't get very fresh vegetables down here. It was the bigger kind, a little soft but not too spongy, the skin wasn't wrinkly.
I think that eggplant was just too old. If you have the inclination, on your next visit to the supermarket where you bought it, ask to see the produce manager and complain. (Julia Child, in one of her cookbooks, said she used to do that all the time and look what she accomplished!).

BTW, if you salt eggplant you need to let it stand for about 30 minutes. Then rinse. A few minutes isn't sufficient time. However, like others have said, I don't find the eggplants I buy at the supermarket to be bitter.
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