Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

I haven't blogged in two months, but tonight's supper was just too delicious to NOT post the recipe.  It was half from memory and half made up, but it turned out great, so here you go...

Easy Eggplant Parm
(all amounts are approximate)

1 Eggplant
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (or Parm/Reggano) - I used the fridge stuff, not fresh
3 cups Rice/Corn Flakes
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
2 eggs
Butter/Olive Oil/Cooking oil of your choice
Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1/2-3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese

The first thing you need to do is "sweat" your eggplant.  1-2 hours before you plan to start cooking, peel your eggplant and slice it into 1/8 inch slices (pretty thin, but not paper thin or anything).  In a colander layer the eggplant slices and salt.  You can really salt them up because you're going to rinse it all off eventually and the salt helps take any bitter-taste out of your eggplant.  Sit your colander of eggplant slices and salt in the sink and put something heavy on top of the eggplant to kinda smash it down (I use two glass bowls that would fit in the top of my colander).

Once you've waited 1-2 hours (or 30 minutes if you're in a rush), you can take the slices out and RINSE THEM REALLY WELL.  And, people, I've made the mistake in the past of not rinsing them enough, and salty Eggplant Parm is NO BUENO... so rinse those things!!!  Then lay them on a double layer of paper towels on your counter.  Meanwhile, you can prepare your breading.  You can be really simple and just mix some italian breadcrumbs with some parmesan cheese if you want, but I wanted mine gluten free.  So I put 3 cups of rice chex in my Ninja, then threw in some parmesan cheese, basil and italian seasoning and whirred it all together.  Dump that on a nice place or large flattish bowl.  In another bowl, crack your two eggs and scramble them together with a little bit of water.

Put your spaghetti sauce in a sauce pan and start warming it up.  (Mine was on medium low the whole time I was cooking the eggplant.) Melt some butter/oil of your choice in a big frying pan and heat to medium heat.  Now dunk your eggplant slices in the egg, then the breadcrumbs, and fry them up until they're golden brown.  You'll have to do this quite a few times unless you have a really big pan.  As soon as you remove the done eggplant, sit it on a plate with a paper towel (to soak up excess oil) and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. (You can keep this plate in a warm oven if you're concerned with it getting cold. I wasn't.)  After your last batch of eggplant comes out of the skillet you can start dishing up the plates.  Ours included a few slices of mozzarella-covered-eggplant, a nice spoonful or two of spaghetti sauce and sprinkle of parmesan on top.  We had a side-salad with our eggplant parm.