Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eggplant Parm

PhotobucketDid you know that eggplant is a fruit, not a vegetable?

I was completely planning to make my typical baked Eggplant Parm, and also planned to double and freeze it for lunch club. None of these plans happened.

Instead, I found this recipe on Start Cooking and decided to give it a whirl. I made a few minor modifications, and it turned out really well! At his first bite, M said, "This is REALLY good," and commented that this is a keeper and better than the baked. Even The Boy ate it, and asked for seconds...and finished those too!!

Here's the recipe, with my modifications:
  • 1 eggplant (8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of dry bread crumbs (Italian flavor) I used panko, as suggested
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons of oil I used olive
  • 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese - shredded
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese - grated

Slice the eggplant into slightly larger than 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and set in colander for 30-40 minutes. Press a paper towel into each slice to absorb all the liquid drawn from the eggplant.

Put the flour, egg, and crumbs into three separate flat, rimmed dishes. Add 1 teaspoon of water to the egg and with a fork, beat the egg.

Dredge each slice of eggplant into the flour, then dip into the egg, and finally press the bread crumbs into each slice of eggplant.

Preheat your frying pan on medium high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add some garlic and let it "speak," as Rachael Ray says. Fry the eggplant until golden brown on each side – flip them only once.

Place the eggplant on a plate that has been lined with a paper towel.

Before frying the second batch, clean the pan out with a paper towel and a pair of tongs.

Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the remaining eggplant.

Spread the sauce in a baking dish large enough to hold the eggplant in a single layer. (A little bit of overlapping is fine.)

Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.

Bake the Eggplant Parmesan in a preheated 425º F ( = 220º C = gas mark 7- hot) oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce is bubbly.

I felt that this was way too much mozzarella before baking, and not enough sauce, but it turned out to be just right on both accounts. Very yummy dish! This wasn't what I would call easy, simply because there were many steps and many dishes... there were no steps that were difficult or unlike anything I'd done before.


melissa said...

I made eggplant parm a month or two ago and it didn't turn out that great. I didn't extract the excess water with the salt, so maybe that's why. I think I will give this recipe a try!

CRS said...

Definitely want to let the eggplant sweat; it helps to remove the bitterness! Good luck!

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