If you couldn’t have guessed by most of my boyfriend’s recipes, we eat a lot of Italian and Mexican dishes. This week, he decided to mix things up and make a vegetarian take on a southern classic: fried chicken. My boyfriend is not into fake meats (I’m not really either because ingredients I can’t pronounce freak me out), so I was pretty intrigued to see how he was planning on pulling this off. But, as usual, he did. Using meaty vegetables like eggplants, these veggie tenders had a great crunch on the outside and a juicy, beefy texture on the inside. And of course, you can’t have a southern-inspired spread without a succulent staple like collard greens. Yum!
Crispy Vegetable Tenders and Collard Greens
Served best with Barbeque Sauce or Ranch
• 2 EGGPLANTS (peeled)
• 2 ZUCCINI (peeled)
• 2/3 cup FLOUR (*wheat/regular)
• 5 cups CORN FLAKES
• 2/3 cup MILK (*almond/soy/buttermilk)
• 2 tablespoons DIJON MUSTARD
• ¼ tablespoon CAYENNE PEPPER
• ¼ tablespoon PAPRIKA
• 1 pinch CRUSHED RED PEPPERS
• 2/3 cup WHITE WINE
• ½ YELLOW ONION
• 4 cloves GARLIC
• 1 tablespoon BUTTER
• 1 cap full LIQUID SMOKE
• OLIVE OIL
• CRUSHED RED PEPPER
*what we used
1. Cut EGGPLANT and ZUCCINI into large “chicken tender” size portions (quarter the ZUCCINI and cut the EGGPLANT into large “fries”). In large bowl, add FLOUR and a pinch of PEPPER. Dredge the vegetables in the flour mixture and set aside.
2. Clean bowl. In bowl add MILK, DIJON MUSTARD, CAYENNE, PAPRIKA and CRUSHED RED PEPPER. Set aside.
3. Add CORN FLAKES to resalable bag (w/mostly all air removed) and crush into fine pieces. Pour mixture onto a plate or flat surface.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
5. Then, take a vegetable tender, dredge it in milk/Dijon mixture and the roll around in cornflakes. Set into *grill pan or on Aluminum Foil. Repeat process until vegetables are all finished.
6. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes and then reduce down to 325 for another 10-15 minutes.
7. Let cool and serve with your favorite dipping sauces.
1. Rinse/wash COLLARD GREENS.
2. Add OLIVE OIL, ONION and GARLIC to pot on high heat. Sauté for 5 minutes and then add chopped COLLARD GREENS. (To chop: I usually just roll them up and then slice once down the center lengthwise followed by perpendicular slices.)
3. Add WHITE WINE, LIQUID SMOKE, a pinch of CRUSHED RED PEPPER.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
5. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.
And last but not least, chow down!
Big thanks to my amazing boyfriend & the best cook I know, Ben. ♥