Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes Throwdown Eggplant Parmesan

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      Part I (Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce)

      3 tbsp olive oil
      1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
      3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
      ½ tsp red pepper flakes
      3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
      2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, crushed with your hands
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      3 tbsp Chopped flat leaf parsley
      3 tbsp Chopped fresh basil
      1 tbsp Chopped fresh oregano

      Ingredients, Part II (Eggplant)

      5 cups fresh dried breadcrumbs (made from dried day-old bread, see tip below)
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      3 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leave parsley
      1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
      1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
      6 large eggs, beaten
      Olive oil, as needed
      Vegetable oil for frying
      All-purpose flour for dredging
      2-3 medium eggplant (about 2 ¼ pounds), cut into ½ -inch-thick round slices (need about 18 slices)
      Butter, for greasing the dish
      12 ounces grated mozzarella (not fresh)
      12 ounces grated Fontina
      ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano
      Fresh basil leaves, torn
      ½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

      Directions, Part I
      1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.

      Add the garlic and red chile flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

      2. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.

      Return the mixture back to the pot, add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes longer, season with honey, if needed.

      Directions, Part II
      1. Preheat the oven to 400º.

      2. Put the breadcrumbs in a large shallow bowl, add the herbs, 1 ½ tsp of the salt and ½ tsp of the pepper and mix until combined.

      3. Place 2 cups of the flour in a medium shallow bowl or large plate and season with 1 tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of the pepper. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the egg and 2 tbsp of water together.

      4. Season each eggplant slice on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge, or coat, each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture.

      Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

      5. Heat ½ -inch of oil in 2 large straight-sided sauté pans over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 385 º F. Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.

      Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

      6. Lightly brush a 15 x 10- x 2-inch-baking dish with butter. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange a third of the eggplant over the sauce.

      Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, Fontina, Romano cheese, and some of the basil. Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

      Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes General Recipes Throwdown Eggplant Parmesan