Eggplant Parmesan

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    • #371324

      Eggplant Parmesan
      1 eggplant (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices1 tbs olive oil
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
      4 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes (from a can is fine)
      1/2 tsp Kosher salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
      2 tbs chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 tsp dried
      2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried
      1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
      1 cup bread crumbs
      1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
      1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      Layer the eggplant slices in a colander, lightly sprinkling salt between the layers.

      Cover with a plate and set to a 2 to 3-pound weight, such as a can of food or a pot of water, on top. Let stand for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry.Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 5 min.

      Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 min.
      Add the tomatoes, cover, and cook over low heat until tender, 5 to 10 min. Uncover the pot, stir in the salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Add the basil, thyme, and parsley and simmer for 1 to 2 min.

      Preheat the oven to 350°. Dip the eggplant slices in vegetable broth and then in the bread crumbs to coat. Grease a large baking sheet and arrange the breaded slices on it.

      Bake for about 30 min, until the eggplant is tender and the crumbs are crisp,.
      Grease an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom and arrange half of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Scatter about one third of the mozzarella over the eggplant, spread on a thicker layer of sauce, and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan.

      Repeat the layers, beginning with eggplant and ending with Parmesan. You should have about one third of the mozzarella left at this point.
      Cover the dish with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 min.
      Uncover, scatter the remaining mozzarella over the top and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 min more. Remove from the oven and let for 5 to 10 min before serving.

      Serves 6
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    • #596025

      Eggplant Parmesan

      For the Eggplant:
      2 1/2 lb eggplant
      1 tsp coarse salt or to taste
      1 cup vegetable oil or enough needed for frying

      For the Tomato Sauce:
      2 tbs olive oil
      1 clove garlic, finely minced
      1 onion, finely chopped
      2 cups tomato puree
      1/8 tsp fine salt or to taste

      For the Parmigiana:
      2 eggs
      1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
      9-oz ball mozzarella — fresh and soft

      Optional: 1 cup fresh small basil leaves — washed, dried, and coarsely chopped

      1. Prepare the Eggplant
      2. Wash and dry the eggplants. Slice off the cap end and then slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
      3. Arrange the slices on large trays or baking sheets lined with several layers of paper towels, and sprinkle them lightly with coarse salt on both sides. Set aside for 30 min to one hour so the salt draws out the excess water.
      4. Pat excess water and salt off of the eggplant slices. Rinse them, then dry again with paper towels, pressing down to dry them thoroughly. Set aside.

      Make the Tomato Sauce

      1. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil with the minced garlic and chopped onion.
      2. Sauté over medium heat until onion is softened and translucent, about 5 min.
      3. Add the tomato puree. Season to taste with salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 min, until the sauce is flavorful and slightly thickened.

      Fry the Eggplants

      1. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4-inch of vegetable oil over medium heat. Give the eggplant slices a final pat with paper towels to remove excess water that may inhibit browning and cause oil splatter.
      2. Fry the eggplant slices, 2 or 3 at a time, in the hot oil until well browned on each side, about 3 to 5 min.
      3. As the eggplant slices are removed from the oil, let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate or tray. Adjust the burner temperature and oil level while frying to keep them constant as the remaining eggplant is fried.

      Assemble the Parmigiana

      1. Preheat the oven to 350°. When the tomato sauce is done, transfer one-third of the sauce to a small mixing bowl and the remainder to a large mixing bowl.
      2. Let the tomato sauce cool to room temperature, then add the eggs to the larger bowl of sauce and mix well to combine. If the sauce is too hot, the eggs will cook.
      3. Cover the bottom of a small 8- by 11-inch rectangular baking dish with a thin layer of the egg-less tomato sauce, then add a horizontal layer of fried eggplant slices (use the biggest slices for this first layer.  They can overlap a bit).
      4. Cover the eggplants with a layer of egg-tomato sauce, then a generous sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a sprinkling of chopped basil (if using), then pieces of mozzarella distributed evenly.
      5. Cover the mozzarella with another layer of eggplant, then egg-tomato sauce, Parmigiano, basil, mozzarella, and another layer of eggplant.
      6. Repeat until ingredients are used up. The top layer should be a layer of the egg-less tomato sauce, topped with a final sprinkling of grated Parmigiano.
      7. Bake for 30 min, until the cheese on top is melted and golden brown. For the best results, let it sit for an hour, then serve! Serves 4-6
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