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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

eggplant parmesan

I like eggplant a lot. Eggplant Parmesan is a rich meal for me, especially since I don't try to hold back anything in this recipe to make it low-fat and such. Part-skim, low fat cheeses can be substituted in this recipe, of course. Also, instead of frying in step 5 below, one can bake the eggplant slices in the oven - takes longer, and needs to be flipped around to cook both sides of the breaded eggplant, but, might cut out on some fat. Since I don't make it that often, I go for the fried version.

Italian foods get their turn at my table, but not as frequently as Asian foods. I decidedly am partial to SE Asian/Indian/Mediterranean/Ethiopian foods compared to French/Italian/American foods.

eggplant parmesan recipe Ingredients
1 globe eggplant
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozarella cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese (optional)
4-6 cups tomato sauce, home-made or store-bought
salt to taste
oil for frying
1-2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 eggs (optional)

Preparation:
  1. slice the eggplant lengthwise into ¼" or thinner slices; sprinkle some salt on both sides and let it sit for about 10 minutes so it releases moisture and possibly the bitter juices
  2. start heating oil in a frying pan to about 350ºF ; while oil is heating, beat the eggs and leave it handy on a plate; dish up about a cup of flour and have that handy in another plate as well
  3. pat the eggplant slices dry from step 1, then dip the sides of each slice on egg, followed by flour; basically, this is to "bread" the eggplant for frying; egg is optional, it helps to hold the flour; alternately, one could bread the eggplant slices in seasoned breadcrumbs
  4. pre-heat the oven to 350ºF
  5. fry the eggplant slices in oil and drain on a paper towel and set aside till the whole batch is done
  6. assembly: in a casserole or baking dish, layer the eggplant, sauce, cheese in as many layers as possible, top with cheese; reserve some sauce to serve on the side
  7. bake in the 350ºF oven for about 15-20 minutes, checking on and off
  8. remove from oven and let it rest for a bit before dishing up
  9. serve warm, with warm sauce on the side: i hold back on the sauce while assembling and baking so it doesn't get too runny, but, that sort of leaves it a bit dry and so i like the extra sauce on the side :-)

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