Friday August 06, 2010
Eggplant Parm....is my FAVORITE food!! I'll share 2 ways of preparing it - the way my Mom (and Nana) do (did) it and a gluten-free version so Jim can enjoy it!!
Peel the eggplant and slice thinly crosswise. Prepare a place where you can bread all the slices as follows:
Lightly coat an eggplant slice with breadcrumbs. (You can use store-bought or simply make your own by toasting some Italian bread and then placing in a blender, add salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese etc.) Then dip the eggplant slice in an egg and milk mixture (I use 2 eggs and enough milk to thin it, but without being too watery). I then bread both sides of the slice and place on a cookie sheet. Continue until you have all your slices coated.
Tip: You may need to refresh your egg and milk mixture as some of the bread crumbs will fall off into the mixture which makes it too thick - you can add more milk or start fresh - it's up to you!! I also have to clean my fingers after 4-5 as they get coated with egg and breadcrumbs.)
Here's another choice - you can oven bake them or pan fry them. I do both depending on my mood, the heat and how much time I have!! To pan fry, add enough oil (you can use canola or olive oil depending on your preference. Canola cooks at a higher heat so the eggplant will get crispier, faster - but again - it's a choice in technique, time and taste!!) Place slices in heated oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, remove and place on another pan lined with paper towels. Continue until complete. If baking, heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat baking sheet with oil. Place baking sheet in oven for a few minutes to heat oil, then take sheet out and add eggplant in single layer. Bake for 5 minutes until golden and flip the eggplant and bake for another 5 minutes.
Once complete, you'll need sauce. Tomato sauce is available pre-seasoned in jars or make your own. In the middle of summer nothing beats using your own tomatoes - chopped with some fresh basil, salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity and even a splash of red wine.
Spread some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place one layer of eggplant, add some sauce sprinkle with grated parmesan or pecorino romano (again a taste preference), sprinkle with mozzarella and repeat until done. Bake in 375 degree oven until bubbling and cheese has melted. Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy with a side salad!!
Take the slices of eggplant and brush both side with olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking pan.
Bake in 425 degree oven about 10 minutes each side until lightly browned.
Spread some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place one layer of eggplant, add some sauce sprinkle with grated parmesan or pecorino romano (again a taste preference), sprinkle with mozzarella and repeat until done - sprinkle the top with some gluten-free breadcrumbs or cornmeal. Bake in 375 degree oven until bubbling and cheese has melted. Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy with a side salad!!