Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cordoba beer-battered eggplant with honey (Berenjena Con Miel)

This is a tapas-style delicacy that I first ate while vacationing in southern Spain, in the city of Cordoba.   It is called Berenjena Con Miel in Spanish, and I had it there, in a restaurant called Casa Pepe De La Juderia (The House of Pepe in the Jewish Quarters)  It would be no exaggeration to say that I completely pigged out on this deep fried battered eggplant dish, and for years, tried finding a similar recipe online, but not knowing for certain if I was making it right. 
I eventually remembered to contact my friend in Spain, whose brother gave me some approximates, and then I found an actual Spanish recipe online, which I translated a bit, and experimented some with.  This is the closest I’ve come to that magical dish I had once, ten years ago in 2001.  It is probably not exactly like the one at the restaurant, but it’s really good anyway. (Updated with new photos Sep. 2011)

Ingredients for Beer Batter:
1 1/4 cups white flour
1/2 – 3/4 bottle of beer – enough to make the batter the consistency of pancake batter. (*I used Alaskan Summer, and find that amber beer lends the most caramel-like flavor to the batter * )
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and pepper (a pinch of each)

Ingredients for Egg-dip:

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper

Bowl of white flour for dredging

1 large Eggplant, thinly sliced (which makes bigger discs) or two narrow Asian-style eggplants
Make the batter first, by mixing all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and let it sit for an hour.

Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the eggplant.  Each disc should be no more than 1/3” in thickness.

Spread the discs out on a large cookie sheet, and salt both sides.  Let the salted eggplant sit for about 30 minutes, and then rinse each disc well (you’ll see brown liquid forming on the eggplant as it’s drawing out bitterness and moisture.)  Dry each slice of eggplant with a paper towel, before deep frying.


Preheat your oil (whether in a deep fryer or deep skillet) to medium hot.  This takes a little fine-tuning and I usually do a couple of test slices in the oil first.

Whisk the egg dip in a small bowl, and soak each slice in the egg  and milk mixture, and then dredge in flour, which helps hold the batter on the eggplant.  If you skip this step, the batter will just slide off and end up in clumps in the hot oil.  Lastly, dip it in batter until well coated, but not too thick.  Let the excess drip off before you put it in hot oil.

 The frying process takes a bit of time so I usually line up another cookie sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels next to my deep fryer to place each slice there … they can be kept hot in the oven at 250 degrees while you’re making the rest.  They usually stay fairly hot even if you don’t put them in the oven, if you work fast, and orderly.  If you don’t own a deep fryer, you can certainly cook them in a deep skillet with about an inch of canola or olive oil in it. Be sure to let the eggplant get golden brown on one side before flipping it over.
Serve hot with honey drizzled over the top.  The honey really adds an extra element of amazing!


  1. I'm so glad you blogged this recipe - it sounds delish! I love eggplant and the idea of the honey drizzle makes it sound too good to be true!!

  2. Oh yes-- I do hope you try it and enjoy it. I love eggplant, too. I make lots of eggplant recipes, so I'm sure I'll be adding those as the fall rolls along.