We often think that fried foods are a big “No No” or “Off Limits” when you’re on a diet. But really, most of the time, the only big no no is actually the choice of food, breading and oil we choose to fry them in. It’s all in the choices we make, thinking outside of the box, as to how we can turn non-keto recipes into keto friendly recipes.
“Unlike most other diets, with the Keto Way Of Eating,
you don’t have to give up those tasty Fried Foods!”
One of the first things, besides bread that I started to crave when I first began Keto was the crispy crunchy breaded texture of fried foods, like mozzarella sticks, fried fish, schnitzels and parms.
The breading is always a hard thought process, trying to figure out how to get that taste and texture that is unmistakable in these foods we are so familiar with and miss so much. If i’m going to up my carbs a little and use a breading to fry food, then it better be good and worth my while. I’ve unfortunately had some Keto Breadings that are chalky, gritty and tasteless, or just plain doesn’t stick in my time….I’m sure we’ve all felt that disappointment!
With this recipe I’ve developed, you’re going to get a crispy breading that holds onto the food, and most importantly has a great taste and texture!
With the cooler weather fast approaching(Fall and Winter have seemed to arrived in my town at the same time this year), I always seem to crave good hearty Italian Comfort Food, so our first dish with this breading recipe is going to be Eggplant Parmigiana, or Eggplant Parmesan as some people call it. However, we’ve used the same breading recipe on a number of foods from chicken to mozzarella sticks, and it works just as good.
Some of those recipes will be coming in the weeks ahead, but until then, give this one a good ol crack.
1 5oz bag unflavored pork rinds/chicharrones (we use Mac’s)
1 cup finely grated parmesan(must be finely grated)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 TBSP McCormicks Perfect Pinch Salt Free Garlic and Herb seasoning
1 Batch of “our” Marinara Recipe or 1 Jar of Rao’s Marinara
4 large eggs beaten
3 TBSP heavy whipping cream
1 LARGE or 2 MEDIUM EGGPLANTS – Sliced into 1/2 Inch Slices
KOSHER SALT FOR SPRINKLING ON EGGPLANT – as needed
DELI SLICED PROVOLONE OR MOZZARELLA – 1 slice per cutlet
OLIVE OIL – enough to shallow fry cutllets in your skillet.
- Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Put onto tray with paper towel, and sprinkle top and bottom with kosher salt and leave for around 30 mins. This is to remove excess moisture from the eggplant.
- Pat dry with another paper towel.
- Make breading mixture(see instructions below next picture)
- In a medium size bowl, mix egg and heavy whipping cream together.
- One by one, dip each slice of eggplant into egg mixture, then breading mixture.
FOR THE BREADING
- Put pork rinds into food processor and gently pulse until it resembles course breadcrumbs.
- In a large bowl add pork rind crumbs to the other ingredients and mix well to combine.
FOR THE FRYING
- Heat up olive oil on med/high in a nonstick skillet, to around 350F.
- Carefully place breaded eggplant into skillet, but don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Cook until golden brown and crispy, then flip over and cook other side(move cutlets as little as possible to keep breading intact).
- Place fried eggplant on a baking rack with paper towel beneath and drain excess oil.
ASSEMBLING AND SERVING
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Pour 1/2 of the marinara in a large cast iron skillet or baking dish and place eggplant on top.
- Top each piece of eggplant with a slice of the provolone/mozzarella and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and top with 1 Tbsp of marinara per piece.
- Turn on broiler and broil the top until bubbling – 30 seconds to a minute. DO NOT BURN
- Serve with more grated parmesan and fresh basil if desired(as pictured)