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Recipe for Eggplant Parmesan by Gene Munson Barry
Gene's Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe by Gene
I have always liked eggplant parmesan but had my own ideas of what mix of herbs and ingredients would enhance the eggplant. This is the recipe as it has evolved through my experiments. Enjoy.
- 3 medium sized eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 4 bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
- 6 Cups Tomato sauce, Homemade
- 1 hunk Mozzarella, 16 oz Package
- 1/2 Cup Parmesian cheese, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Basil, fresh or dried
- 1/4 teaspoon Thyme, fresh or dried
- Couple teaspoons an extra virgin olive oil, drizzle on top
Preparation: Gene's Eggplant Parmesan
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. (175 deg. C.). Peel the eggplant with a potato peeler. Cut off very bottom and top. Then slice into 1/4 inch sections the long way. If you make the slices thicker, then increase the cooking time. In one large dish, beat three eggs slightly. In another large dish, pour out the Italian seasoned bread crumbs. The next step is to dip the eggplant slices in the egg, making sure to thoroughly coat them on both sides. Then dip both sides of the slice in the bread crumbs, again coating thoroughly. Handle the slices gently so as to not loose the bread crumbs, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. For easier clean up later, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I prefer parchment paper.
- Bake the eggplant in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Needless to say, use pot holders and remove your baking sheet. Place the hot baking sheet on top of the oven and with tongs carefully turn the baked slices over. In a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish spread tomato sauce to cover the bottom.
- Place a single layer of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I like to purchase the hard kind of Parmesan. It has more flavor when freshly grated. I use my favorite cheese grater that has a handle to turn this drum. In this way, it grates the cheese into my own fresh ground cheese. My grater doesn't work for the Mozzarella because it is too soft. This means that I have to slice the cheese into 1/4 inch slices.
- We buy the mozzarella in one chunk and not grated because it melts in a thicker layer. Some day we want to make our own mozzarella. It's supposed to be easy to do. When it melts it isn't as stringy as the store bought but delicious. Repeat this process beginning with the tomato sauce, then the eggplant slices and then the cheeses. Finish with a layer of both cheeses and sprink the basil and thyme on top.
- Some day I plan to make our own fresh mozzarella. It's only supposed to take an hour and a half to two hours.
- Sprinkle the top of the cheese with basil and thyme.
- Bake you eggplant parmsan now in your pre-heated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. You can also test by inserting a knife to see that all layers are soft.
- My oven is old. When my wife and I married we needed to purchase a stove. We found this used one locally and looked at it. It was not a name that I was used to but we decided to purchase it anyhow. Thus far it has been excelent. I wanted something that was gas as I feel that electric was slower. This stove is gas. I had to install a new gas line because there previous stove was electric. I'm glad we made the choice to up-grade to gas fired.
My Views about the Contents
I recommend three extra large eggs slightly beaten on a regular dinner plate. I use a regular size dinner plate because it gives me plenty of space.
Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
I'm not too sure why but I seem to have many baking sheets. Two of them I know I bought because my wife was taking care of some kittens and wanted me to get them so she could feed the kittens on them. When she had seen what i had bought she laughed at me and said they were too big. So anyhow now I have two big extra sheets.
I prefer to use parchment paper on the baking sheet as it will make clean-up easier. Aluminum foil would also work. Many people do not keep parchment paper on hand but I recommend it to anyone who cooks and bakes and wants clean up to be easier. It is also better for the environment than thrown out foil..
About Gene's Tomato Sauce
I don't care for most store-bought tomato sauce brands because the predominant flavor seems to be that of garlic. Also I prefer sauce made without onions which is impossible to buy. I think the flavor of my tomato sauce is rich without either of those ingredients. In addition, I feel that by using three kinds of tomatoes to make my sauce I am creating a special flavor. I use the hot pack method to can my tomato sauce for long term storage.
Above is a 9 inch by 13 inch baking "casserole" dish. You would first spread tomato sauce on the bottom, then place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle the top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
The Two Cheeses
Basil and Thyme
About my Basil and Thyme
A year ago I planted Italian Basil and a Thyme plant in my garden. Well to my surprise this spring I was preparing to till up the garden and I found that the Thyme and Basil had both survived through the winter and were growing profusely. I had dried lots of both last fall and that's what I use to sprinkle on top of the Eggplant Parmesan. The Italian basil to me tastes both of oregano and basil. It is fine to use plain basil in this recipe also. Experiment. You might want a touch of oregano sprinkled on top as well.