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Deep-Fried Aubergine And Cheese Sandwiches

ingredients

2 large aubergines
2 mozzarella cheeses
8 large basil leaves
3 eggs
fine dry breadcrumbs (approx. 4 oz (120 g))
sunflower oil for deep-frying
salt and pepper

serve with:

tomato salad

method

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) mark 6. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. Slice off both ends of the aubergines where they begin to taper.

2. Rinse, dry and slice into rounds of even thickness. Lay these out flat in a single layer on the oiled baking sheets and brush lightly with olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 minutes, then take out and leave to cool.

3. When you are ready to start cooking the 'sandwiches', slice the mozzarella cheeses into 1/4-in (6 - 7 mm) thick rounds. Beat 3 eggs lightly in a small, deep bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a plate. Place a slice of cheese on top of half the aubergine slices, press a basil leaf on top and cover with the remaining aubergine slices.

5. Press together gently and then dip in the beaten egg to coat all over; cover with the breadcrumbs, pressing lightly. When all the sandwiches have been dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumbs, pour oil into a non-stick frying pan; it should be about 5/8 in (1 1/2 cm) deep.

6. When it is hot, but not smoking hot, add the sandwiches and fry over a moderately high heat, turning once, until they are golden brown on both sides. Take out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on kitchen paper on a very hot plate. Serve.

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