Do you ever get in the mood for really good Bar Food? You know what I’m talking about–noshing on all of the glorious things that can be battered and deep fried to a golden, crispy perfection?
Yeah. That’s the stuff that keeps me up at night.
But what if a Fried Food Craving strikes but you can’t actually travel to a bar to get it? That sort of thing happens to me all the time. Being that we don’t travel to dining establishments without our four boys in tow, Bar Food is kind of out of the question for us. Seems the general public frowns upon parents bellying-up-to-the-bar while toting their children.
Don’t judge us! No, really! We’re just here for the fried vegetables, I swear!
Being home-bound when the Fried Food Craving strikes is further compounded with the facts:
- Actually frying anything is a little scary and a lot messy.
- The process of frying anything stinks up the house for
Well then, that situation just screams for Mock Frying, eh?
Preparing these Mock Fried Vegetables is really no trouble at all. No scary/messy grease splatters. No colossal clean-up effort. No Diner Smell lingering in the house. And unlike their deep-fried-alter-ego, Mock Fried Vegetables aren’t a highly-caloric-gut-bomb waiting to happen. Take if from me…although temporarily comforting, highly-caloric-gut-bombs can ruin your day.
Avoid all that strife by gathering a few, simple ingredients:
Vegetables cut into large yet manageable chunks, grated parmesan cheese, Panko style bread crumbs, eggs, all-purpose flour, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried parsley.
Sturdy vegetables seem to do the best with mock frying–OK, roasting–cauliflower is our absolute favorite, but carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms are also quite tasty.
Confession: I don’t find the mushrooms to be at all tasty, but the Bacon Slayer loves them so they will occasionally make an appearance.
Preheat the oven to 400° F and then line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and dump in the flour; whisking together until smooth and combined. This mixture shall heretofore be called The Wet Stuff.
Since Son #3 was hovering around me in the kitchen, I put him to work. Rule #6 of my kitchen: if you can hover, you can help.
Kindly ignore my office area on the other end of the counter. Thank you.
Grab a pie tin and add the Panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan, cayenne, Italian seasoning, and dried parsley. Stir The Dry Stuff together with a fork, until combined. Panko breadcrumbs are crucial to the vegetables being very crispy. Don’t substitute the plain ones, okay? Promise? Good.
I passed this job off on Son #3, as well. He managed to keep the majority of the Dry Stuff in the pie plate. ((Sniff! Sniff!)) My boy is growing up!
Dip the vegetable pieces individually into The Wet Stuff, being sure to moisten all sides.
Roll the wet vegetable around in The Dry Stuff until it is evenly coated. Gently shake off the excess coating before placing on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat until all of the vegetables are dipped & dredged. Bake in the preheated 400° F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender inside and crispy on the outside.
Aaaahhhhhhhh! Perfection! Here is the part where I really wish you could smell the spicy aroma of the roasted vegetables. It’s pretty wonderful.
Guess you’ll just have to make your own Mock Fried Vegetables to find out. And for all that is good and right with the world…PLEASE…serve them with Garlicky Feta Dip on the side. You won’t be sorry.
Mock Fried Vegetables
3 C. fresh cauliflower, broccoli, or baby carrots (or a combination)
2 whole eggs
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ C. Panko breadcrumbs
½ C. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 tsp. dried parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash vegetables and pat dry. Cut veggies into 2 inch chunks; set aside.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl, and beat lightly with a fork. Add the flour, and continue beating with the fork until smooth; set aside.
- Stir together Panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, and dried parsley in a deep dish pie plate until combined.
- Dip the vegetable pieces individually into the egg mixture, coating on all sides. Gently shake off the excess egg before rolling in the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Place the coated vegetable on the prepared baking sheet.
- Continue to dip the vegetable pieces in the egg and dredge in the breadcrumbs until all are coated, placing vegetables about I inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast vegetables at 400 degrees for between 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender inside and crispy outside.
- Serve alongside Garlic Feta Dip, or make your own Ranch dip with 1-2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing seasoning mixed into 1 ½ cups of plain Greek style yogurt.