Mock deep fried vegetables allow you to indulge in crunchy coated vegetables, without the excessive calories and fat of their deep fried cousins.
Do you ever get in the mood for really good, greasy 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 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 deep fried vegetables, I swear!
Being home-bound when the deep 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 deep fried foods, eh?
Preparing these Mock Deep Fried Vegetables is really no trouble at all. No scary/messy grease splatters or colossal clean-up effort. No Diner Smell lingering in the house. And unlike their deep-fried-alter-ego, mock deep 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 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 and 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 Deep 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.