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Friday, August 26, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan


Olive Oil
Your favorite Marinara
Parmesan Cheese (Mozzarella and other additional cheeses optional)
1 Small Eggplant
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs

We decided to grow Japanese eggplant in our garden, and while one was definitely enough for this meal, another variety would surely have been too much. So be sure to take a look at the pictures and adjust your measurements accordingly.


While making eggplant parmesan isn't difficult, it is time-consuming. The first step is to slice your eggplant into patties. Since the Japanese eggplant is so thin, I used a mandolin slicer at the largest setting to make 1/4" medallions. Place these side-by-side on a washable surface -- a large dish or baking sheet should do fine. Sprinkle a fine layer of salt over every slice of eggplant and let sit 15-20 minutes. Use a paper towel to blot off the accumulated moisture, flip the patties over and repeat.


While you're waiting for the eggplant to sweat out its bitterness, (hmm, I wonder if that same process would work on R?), you can prepare for the next step by setting up 2 shallow plates and 1 bowl for battering. On one plate, spread out the flour in an even layer. In the bowl, beat 2 eggs. (I also added a splash of milk. I don't really know why. Maybe because I'm used to making french toast, and it seems to help coat the bread better.) In the last dish make a layer of bread crumbs. I made my own using a loaf of bread I knew we wouldn't get around to eating anytime soon, and baking the bejesus out of it. But trust me, it adds a lot more work and time to this already time-exhausting process. Though I ended up with some extra cubes of bread which I turned into a pretty fantastic topping.


You'll be frying these badboys after battering, so you might want to get your frying pan and oil nice and hot. And you already pre-heated your oven to 350F, right? Also, this part gets pretty messy so if you're not-so-fond of goopy hands you might want to wear some gloves. Grab your partially dehydrated, limp eggplant discs and proceed through the line. Lightly coat them with flour, dip in the egg, and then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat until you have all the little bastards coated and ready to fry.


Cover the bottom of a 9" x 9" baking dish with marinara (enough to comfortably accommodate the eggplant, say, 1/2" or so.) Fry the battered eggplant to a nice crispy golden brown and place in the marinara bed. When done frying, cover the dish with parmesan, mozzerella, or any other cheese you'd like, (I used sharp cheddar which definitely gave the eggplant some extra zing.), and bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes.


If you were wondering, the beautiful dark brown beverage in some of these photos is a wonderful Imperial Brown Ale I brewed up awhile ago. It really helped get me through this tedious process, as well as life in general. Actually, during my final wait I finished off quite a few of these, which of course led me to consider many things such as 'I hope that part of my finger I cut didn't end up in the meal, well, I hope R doesn't find that part of my finger in Her meal' and 'Pants are for sissies'. Besides these deep existential musings, I also came up with the genius idea of bread fried bread. I mean, come on.. what could possibly be better than a fried bread coating? ... Bread, fried in a bread coating! So using the same procedure as above, I used the excess bread cubes I had and made wonderful, crunchy fried croutons.

You'll have to ask R how it all turned out, because I was a little biased, as well as drunk. But from what I do remember it was all pretty amazing.


Albany Jane said...

I love eggplant parm with Japanese eggplants. I usually even skip the salting step 'cuz they turn out so creamy any way. YAY!

Albany John said...

I was totally going to post the same thing. You'd think we know each other or something.

I would like to try this "bread fried bread" concept.

On a side note, salting the missus does not make them less bitter, but I find a little butter does the trick quite nicely.

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