The recipe does not call for this, but I always salt out eggplant slices before cooking to remove any bitterness from the fruit (NB: we should have peeled the eggplants first before salting because I had to peel after slicing and that took some additional time).
A special thanks to Nate for helping me with the dicing of onions and eggplant and for cooking the eggplant! After the eggplant was salted, I rinsed the slices well in water to remove the excess salt. Nate cubed the eggplant (after I removed the peel) and microwaved for a couple minutes to cook. He then mashed the eggplant – they will still have shape, not mashed like you would imagine mashed potatoes.
Everything gets mixed together: 1 cup cheese, 2 slightly beaten eggs, cooked eggplant, 1/4 chopped onion, 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons parsley (I eyeballed this), 3 cloves of garlic (we LOVE garlic), salt and pepper.
After mixing the “batter” I formed six patties and placed them on a slightly greased pan (PAM). I then coated each eggplant croquette with a little bit of olive oil and baked for 20 minutes total in the oven (350 degrees). I decided not to pan fry them after reading a couple of reviews from the original recipe. After 10 minutes, I flipped the croquettes and baked for the remaining 10 minutes.
The photographs above show me making the eggplant croquettes and placing the six into a greased pan.
We ate these for dinner last night with a side of pasta and tomato sauce; oh my goodness! I have never had eggplant that tasted SO good before! And, I really like eggplant. It almost reminded me of having a hamburger, but a delicious eggplant/vegetarian one. I bet the croquettes would be good with additional onion (1/4 of an onion is not very much). Bon appetit!