The Best Eggplant Parmesan Ever
Eggplant Parmesan is a great vegetable entree
I love eggplant, seriously. Its like an addiction. I think if candy were vegetables it would be eggplant. Fried, grilled or sauteed the creamy texture and cotton candy like flavor make it a real treat. There are a about a million ways to make eggplant but today I will be focusing on eggplant Parmesan, my favorite! Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish we all know and love. A fried cutlet, zesty marinara sauce and melted cheese make for a mouth watering meal you wont soon forget.
Things You Will Need To Make Eggplant Parmesan
There are a couple of things you will need to make eggplant parmesan and I will go into detail with each. Some things you can buy, like sauce and cheese, but others you will have to make, like the delicious breaded eggplant slices. So, here's the ingredient list for four servings:
1 large ripe eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups ap flour, sifted and seasoned with salt and pepper
eggwash, 2 large eggs beaten with 1 cup of water
3 cups plain bread crumbs seasoned with 2 tbls dry parsley
Oil for sauteeing the eggplant
To set up a "professional" breading station, like one you might find in any high quality restaurant, arrange the ingredients on your counter in this order; eggplant, bowl with the flour, bowl with the eggwash, bowl with the breadcrumbs and finally a plate or tray for the finished product. Then, making sure to only use one hand for "dry" and the other for "wet", begin passing the sliced eggplant through the station.
With the left hand pick up a slice of eggplant, dip it into the flour, making sure to evenly coat. Then place the slice in the eggwash, being careful not to get your left hand wet (this will prevent you from breading your hand and make the whole process easier). With the right hand turn the slice over making sure to get an even coating of eggwash, then remove and place in the bowl of bread crumbs again being careful not to get crumbs on your eggwashed finger tips. Using the left hand (your dry hand) evenly coat the eggwashed slice with breadcrumbs and then place on the tray. Repeat this process until all the slices are coated.
When all the eggplant has been breaded it is time to fry! Heat a little oil in a pan, about a 1/4 inch, over a medium heat. When the oil is nice and hot, place the eggplant in the pan without crowding. Fry for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on a tray lined with paper towels.
The Marinara Sauce
Its ok if you want to buy sauce, dont worry, this is your dinner, make what you want. However, this recipe is quick and easy and can be made in advance. The real plus is the number of ingredients, 7 counting the salt and pepper.
This what you will need:
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic 2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 ounces of white wine
6 basil leaves cut into chiffonade (thin ribbons)
Ok, so heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan. When its ready, saute the garlic until softened. Add the wine, bring to a quick simmer, then add the tomatoes and basil. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute and then remove from heat. If you want a smooth sauce you can process or use as is. If you're not ready to use at this point store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Assembling and Serving
Assembly for me is the most fun. Its like painting a picture or sculpting a statue out of delicious food. I like to make my eggplant parmesan in individual servings, stacked up Napoleon style. Hopefully you still have 12 slices of eggplant left, I know its always hard for me not to pick at what Im making, especially when I like it as much as I do fried eggplant.
This is what you need:
12 slices of fried eggplant
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese
1 recipe of marinara sauce
So, using 3 pieces per serving, assemble your stacks on greased baking sheet like this. Eggplant, 1 tbls ricotta cheese, 1tbls marinara, eggplant, 1 tbls ricotta, 1 tbls marinara, eggplant, 1 tbls ricotta, 4tbls marinara and then cover the whole thing with mozzarella. When all four stacks are finished bake for 15-25 minutes in a 400F oven or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Serve one stack each on a plate with some salad and spaghettie tossed in butter and garlic.
Rate this recipe by Chef Tommy
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