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Eggplant Frites With Caper Remoulade

Chef Todd Grey of Equinox restaurant in Washington, D.C., created this recipe for his son as an alternative to French fries. He says it is a surprise for people to see this fruit fried instead of a starchy vegetable.

Makes about 40 pieces (depending on the size of eggplant)

2 cups all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 medium eggs

3 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 medium eggplant

Canola oil, for frying

Caper Remoulade, for serving (recipe below)

Caper Remoulade

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

2 tablespoons ketchup

6 cornichons (very small sour pickles), drained and minced

3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

*Panko is a type of Japanese breadcrumbs that are coarser than most used in the United States. It's available at most supermarkets.

Place the flour in a wide, shallow bowl or baking pan and season it with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup water in another shallow bowl. Pulse the panko in a food processor until finely ground and place in a third bowl.

Peel the eggplants and cut them into finger-size sticks, about 1/2-by-1/2-by-3 inches. A few at a time, toss the eggplant pieces with the flour and shake off any excess. Coat completely in the egg wash, then roll in the panko to cover. Lay the frites on a parchment paper–covered baking sheet in a single layer and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Meanwhile, make the remoulade by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.

Pour a few inches of canola oil in Dutch oven or deep, heavy pot, and heat to 350 degrees. (Check with a thermometer.) Line another baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Deep fry the frites a few at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove with a skimmer and drain on the paper towels.

Serve with the remoulade.

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