Breaded Aubergines

  • I went to my favourite restaurant in the area, which is very near to where I live.
  • It is called Healds Hall .
  • They had a new starter on the menu, which was delicious.
  • I decided to recreate this at home.
  • I used Polish honey from the Mazurian Lakes, which was delicious.
  • The Polish word for aubergine is bakłażan and it comes from the Persian – badigan. 
  • Americans call aubergines – egg plant.

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • Plain flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry
  • *
  • To serve
  • *
  • Runny honey
  • Yoghurt cheese or cream cheese

Method

  • Slice the aubergine into 1 – 1.5cm circles.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and put them into a colander over a bowl.
  • Leave for around 30 minutes.
  • Dry the slices with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle with a little pepper.
  • Have ready dishes of flour, beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs.
  • Dip each slice of aubergine first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly the dried breadcrumbs.
  • In a frying pan heat up the oil.
  • Fry the slices gently on both sides till golden.
  • Remove from the oil, place onto kitchen roll to remove some of the oil.
  • Serve with yoghurt cheese or cream cheese with runny honey on top.

Vegetable Fritters

The Polish for these is kotlety z jarzyn  – cutlets from vegetables.

The word kotlety(plural) comes from the Italian word cotoletta(singular) for cutlet or chop.

These are made with boiled or steamed vegetables.

Root vegetables are good here as well as cooked cabbage – you can also add cooked pulses such as peas and beans –  I am writing a post just about bean fritters which will be posted soon.

The following vegetable are ones I often use: cabbage, carrots, celeriac, cauliflower, parsnip and potato.

The cooked vegetables need to be chopped fine, minced or mashed – whichever is more suitable or easiest.

For this post I cooked the vegetables especially but this is a good way to use up any leftover cooked vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Around 500g of cooked vegetables – chopped, mashed or minced as appropriate.
  • 2 onions – chopped fine
  • Butter to fry the onions
  • 1 egg (can add another egg yolk as well)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of potato flour – depends on how moist or starchy the vegetables are.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dried Breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Extras – you can add chopped parsley, dill or chives or any other herbs you like.

Method

Chop fine, mash or mince the vegetables as appropriate.

Chop the onions and fry them gently in butter till golden and leave to cool.

  • Mix the vegetables and the onion together.
  • Add the egg and mix well.
  • Add enough potato flour to make the mixture fairly stiff.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Put dried breadcrumbs on a board or large plate.
  • Make largish balls of the mixture and flatten them onto the breadcrumbs, turn them over  and cover all the sides.
  • Fry them gently in hot sunflower oil.
  • You can keep them warm on a baking tray in the oven whilst making the rest.

Reheating

I like these reheated – Place them on a baking tray into a pre-heated hot oven GM6  200°C for around 15  minutes.

The combinations are endless – here are some ideas ….

Cauliflower & Spring Onions or Chives

As in the instructions above with the addition of chopped spring onion (the green part) or chives.

Carrot & Parsnip

Carrot, Potato & Peas

.

à la Polonaise

Polish Style

I was well into my 20s before I realised that there was a special French culinary phrase to describe, what to me, was just the regular topping that my mother and aunties put onto certain cooked vegetables.

Within my family I had never been served cauliflower, Brussels sprouts  or whole green beans without a lovely crispy buttery breadcrumb mixture.

I have not discovered when this term was first used in France but some sources think it might have come into use in the early part of the 19th century when many Polish political émigrés came to France and in particular Paris.

Method for the Vegetables

Cook your cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or whole green bean in whatever way you like best.

You can if you wish cook the cauliflower whole – this can have quite a good effect when served.

I like to steam the vegetables as I find I can get them just right – cooked – but still with a bit of bite this way.

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Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Place the cooked (and drained if necessary) vegetables in a serving dish.

Pour the buttery topping over the vegetables.

You will get a buttery crunchy taste which is a contrast to the vegetables.

Method for the  à la Polonaise topping

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Butter & Breadcrumbs

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Preparing the Breadcrumbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The topping is made by melting in a saucepan 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of butter.

(If you use unsalted butter then add a pinch or two of salt)

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Melting the Butter

 

 

 

 

 

Add to this around 2 tablespoonfuls of dried breadcrumbs and keep on the heat and stir for a few minutes.

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Preparing the Breadcrumbs

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Butter & Breadcrumbs

 

 

 

 

 

Pour the buttery mix over the vegetables.

Cauliflower à la Polonaise – served in a Royal Doulton serving dish. The pattern is Carnation produced from 1982 to 1998.

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Brussels Sprouts à la Polonaise – served in a Royal Doulton serving dish. The pattern is Roundelay produced from 1970 to 1997.

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Royal Doulton – Roundelay

Whole green beans à la Polonaise

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Added Note

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Some cookery books say that chopped hard boiled eggs and chopped flat leaf parsley are added to the topping.

Personally I have not found this to be usually so, although chopped hard boiled eggs are added to many salads and to certain soups in Poland and chopped flat leafed parsley is very often used as a garnish.