Friday, March 18, 2011

Eggplant Parm

Cheesy Goodness

I'm always looking for meat free recipes for health and financial reasons, but whenever the Lenten season comes around, I feel like looking for meat free recipes becomes a mission.  So, when a group of local ladies start swapping recipes of the vegetarian variety, I'm on board.

This came from Gianna, and it's her own recipe.  I made a few modifications, which I mentioned below.  I've made Eggplant Parm lots of times; here, here, and here.  Each version has its merits.  I think this one made the best (of the homemade, at least) eggplant cutlets and was also pretty easy; I seem to recall the other versions taking a LONG time.


I thought this was really delicious.  The eggplant was tender, its flavor was great, and I love anything that is so veggie full that I don't have to think about a side dish.  A REFUSED to touch his; I don't know why.  He typically loves eggplant parm, but wouldn't even try, not even to get a piece of coveted garlic bread.  E, however, dug in, eating almost as much as me:

Thanks, Gianna, for a delicious dinner!

Eggplant Parmesan  (this is my own recipe)
**I don’t have exact measurements, I usually wing it, and flavor to taste!
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
2 eggs
Fresh breadcrumbs, mixed with Italian seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder
Tomato Sauce (I used homemade, following Giada de Laurentiis's recipe) **Gianna's recipe below
Mozzarella cheese  (shredded)
Parmesan Cheese  (grated)

Preheat Oven to 350.
Peel eggplant, and slice it (into circles).....not too thin, but not too thick either.

Sprinkle eggplant with salt and place in colander (in sink) for 20 minutes.  Rinse, and squeeze water out of slices, and dry them with paper towels.

Dip eggplant in egg then breadcrumbs.  
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat until oil is shimmering.  Add garlic and heat until it "speaks."
Fry eggplant until the slices are tender and golden brown.  (if a fork goes in easily, they are done.)
Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Once you fry all your eggplant, layer in a baking dish!  Depending on how much eggplant you have you can use any size.
Sauce, eggplant, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese (use as much cheese and sauce as you’d like).

And Layer again...sauce, eggplant, parmesan and mozzarella.   Continue layering until you use all of your eggplant.

Cover with Foil and Cook at 350 until cheese gets bubbly..approx. 20-30 minutes!   I usually take my foil off with about 5-10 minutes left to go!   Baking times may vary! 

MY SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE  (I always end up with extra)
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
4 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
onion powder (or some chopped vidalia onion)
parmesan cheese
Sauté oil and garlic in a sauce pan (if using real onion throw that in too) for about 5 minutes.  Add cans of crushed tomato, basil, oregano, onion powder and cheese.  Bring to boil and then lower to simmer for at least 30 minutes.    Stir often.

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