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15 July 2008

Eggplant Patties

Eggplant patties, or "Tortang Talong", is one of my favorite eggplant preparations. I have only recently begun to appreciate its being part of dinengdeng, pinakbet, or kare-kare (I usually just let the others take it); I also like it sliced thinly and fried, and as part of the vegetable tempura medley.

I didn't realize that the lowly Tortang Talong can be elevated to a sumptious dinner fare until I was served a couple while on business trip at the Eugenio Lopez Center in Antipolo. It accompanied beef cooked in sauce. At first, I didn't know what it was (the food was pre-ordered). I was just taking chunks of the beef and finding the taste a bit bland, decided to alternate it with the patty. Upon munching, I realized that it was an eggplant patty, but it decidedly had a taste of spices, particularly basil! I loved how the taste of the beef and the eggplant patty played in my mouth. I liked it so much that after dinner, when everyone else had left, I went to the kitchen and asked if I can have a copy of the recipe. I was not able to get it, but decided that it was worth a second try. I asked our Account Manager if she can get a copy of the recipe. The following day, it was in my e-mail! And with the permission of Eugenio Lopez Center, I share this recipe with you.

3 large eggplants
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup grated parmigiano cheese
8 large basil leaves chopped finely
1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Olive oil for frying

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and place it in the oven for 30mins. or until cooked through, but still firm.
2. Let the eggplant cool and coarsely mash half the eggplant in a large bowl and chop the other half.
3. Mix the eggplant together, then add the eggs, grated cheese, minced garlic, dried oregano, basil and pepper.
4. Add about ½ cup of breadcrumbs and stir until the eggplant is easy to handle and holds together. If the mixture is too moist, add more breadcrumbs.
5. Form the eggplant mixture into flat cakes about the size of a small egg and dredge them in breadcrumbs.
6. Heat some olive oil in a large pan over moderate flame and add the eggplant.
7. Allow each side to turn golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

Sorry, I have no photos of the patties. I had a feeling that it will look rather odd to our guests that I was taking photos of my food and might think there's something wrong with it... or me. Heh.

The recipe is displayed on our ref door, though, waiting for us to have a hand at it.

I highly recommend the Eugenio Lopez Center for your business functions because of the wonderful ambience, the amenities, nice function rooms, friendly staff, and good food. Our guests even accidentally left some things behind but these were promptly returned to us. Thanks, Eugenio Lopez Center!

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