Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

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  1. This is one of my favorite dishes from childhood; although from a German background, my grandmother loved Eggplant Parmesan and fortunately, I inherited her recipe cards.

    Wonderful tomato and cheese infused eggplant flavors meet your palate from a basic recipe you can make at home to satisfy your craving for Eggplant Parmigiana from your favorite Italian eatery.

    A little bit of planning is the key to this dish; start by making sure you have all the equipment and ingredients you need to execute this dish.

    Equipment

    • oven
    • stove
    • sharp knife
    • cutting board
    • baking dish- 8"x8" approximately
    • cheese grater
    • vegetable peeler
    • mixing bowl
    • fork
    • skillet
    • spatula
    • colander
    • small plate
    • small bowls

    This is a traditional Eggplant Parmesan recipe; the ingredients are simple and few, and the breaded eggplant is fried before baking. (Alternative methods for reducing calories and fat, for a more healthy eggplant parmesan recipe, are mentioned at the end.)  When choosing eggplant, look for firm fruits with dark glossy skin.  Soft spots and bruising indicate sub-par eggplants.  Although eggplants look like they may last for a long time in the fridge, they are actually quite delicate and need to be used with in a day or two of purchase.

    Ingredients

    • salt
    • ground black pepper
    • 1 Cup favorite spaghetti style tomato sauce
    • 1 Cup bread crumbs
    • 3/4 Cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese
    • 1 large eggplant
    • cooking spray
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

    Preparations

    1. Heat oven to 350 F.
    2. Wash and peel eggplant.
    3. Slice eggplant crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices.
    4. Layer slices of eggplant in colander, sprinkling each lightly with salt.
    5. Place plate on top of colander and something heavy on top.
    6. Beat egg with fork.
    7. Spray bottom and sides of baking dish with cooking spray.
    8. Spread thin layer of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish.
    9. Grate parmesan cheese into a small bowl.
    10. Grate mozzarella cheese into another small bowl.
    11. Remove eggplant from colander, rinse of salt and pat dry.

    Cooking

    1. Heat half of the cooking oil to medium on the stove.
    2. Put bread crumbs onto a plate.
    3. Dip one eggplant slice into the beaten egg, thinly coating each side.
    4. Place the egg coated eggplant on the breadcrumbs and then flip to coat.
    5. Fill the heated skillet with one layer of breaded eggplant.
    6. Cook eggplant until brown on one side. Flip and brown other side.
    7. Place one layer of cooked eggplant in bottom of baking dish.
    8. Sprinkle 1/3 of mozzarella over eggplant.
    9. Spread thick layer of tomato sauce over mozzarella.
    10. Sprinkle 1/2 parmesan over sauce.
    11. Heat remaining oil in skillet.
    12. Bread and cook remaining eggplant as previously done.
    13. Repeat eggplant, mozzarella, sauce and parmesan layers.

    Baking

    1. Bake, covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes.
    2. Uncover baking dish and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
    3. Bake another 10 minutes.
    4. Remove baking dish from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

    Serving

    Eggplant Parmesan is a filling meatless dish; it pairs well as a main dish with soup and or salad.  Preparation of the dish, up to baking, can be performed and then popped in the oven as your first course is eaten.  Letting the dish stand a few minutes before serving will help ease the serving process; the cheese will firm up with the sauce a bit, giving you a better presentation, and less mess.  I recommend using a sharp knife and a wide pie style server to pop out the first piece from the baking dish.  Cut your subsequent pieces as you are going to serve them with a sharp knife and sturdy spatula. Enjoy!

    Additional Info

    To shorten preparation time, your favorite jarred meatless tomato sauce may be used instead of making the tomato sauce.

    Pre-grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese may be purchased from the dairy case to save time.

    To reduce fat, bake the breaded eggplant at 350 for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet, instead of frying.

    Calories may also be reduced by using milk or an egg substitute, instead of egg, prior to coating eggplant in breadcrumbs.

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