Monday, May 9, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan


First of all, I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day! I had a lovely weekend myself starting with a little shindig at Gingham Girl's house. She and her hubby hosted a dinner party on Saturday to watch the Pacquiao v. Mosley boxing match. Even though the fight was greatly disappointing, GG's food was not. That girl cooked up a storm in the form of a mini buffet that fed 12 people, all on her own. Very impressive! I then enjoyed a very lazy Sunday, just how I like it. :)


Yummy food recap (all home made by GG):
Shanghai Eggrolls, Chinese chicken salad, Yang Chow fried rice, cheater donuts and vermicelli stir-fry (Sotanghon). Oh, check out the little snapshot of Mosley and Pacquiao. That was the gist of the entire fight -- Pacquiao throwing punches and Mosley...was not. Ho-hum.

One of my Mother's Day gifts, an arrangement of fresh cut flowers from
my own garden. Lovely, aren't they?

I was craving Italian food on Sunday but of course, every restaurant out there was fully packed with Mother's Day celebrants. I was in no mood to wait for a table so we ended up at the Flame Broiler of all places and just picked up some teriyaki chicken plates to go. After dinner, my daughter and I made homemade ice cream and homemade bread together. All in all, it was a great day for me. There is nothing I enjoy more than simple celebrations.

Since I couldn't shake my Italian craving today, I decided to make eggplant parmesan. I've had 3 gorgeous eggplants sitting in my fridge for almost a week now. Every time I opened my veggie drawer, they would call out to me. EAT ME, EAT ME. And today, they got their wish.

I made the tomato sauce using Deborah Madison's Quick Canned Tomato Sauce recipe from her book entitled Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I adapted it slightly but only by adding some spices. Ever since I discovered this recipe, I no longer buy bottled pasta sauce.  It is so easy and tastes fantastic!

QUICK CANNED TOMATO SAUCE
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, recipe doubled

Ingredients:
2 28-ounce cans of crushed (pureed) tomatoes
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. Italian dry herb mix
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add the pureed tomatoes, dry herbs and simmer on low for about 20 minutes or when the sauce thickens a little. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Set aside.

Fried eggplant slices.

EGGPLANT PARMESAN
Serves 6 people.

Ingredients:
3 medium eggplants or 2 large ones, peeled
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups of bread crumbs
1 cup of good quality grated Parmesan cheese or Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1 lb. of grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt
Olive oil or vegetable oil

Method:

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch thickness. Lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt. Set aside for at least half an hour or up to an hour. This process causes the eggplant to release moisture and to also draw out some of its bitterness.

Once the eggplant has released its moisture, transfer them to a colander and rinse well then pat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a frying pan. You'll want at least 1/2 an inch of oil to fry the eggplant slices. Dip the eggplant into the beaten egg mixture first then into the breadcrumbs and fry them until they are golden brown on both side. Drain them on paper towels or a rack.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is heating up, start assembling the eggplant. First, spread about 2 cups of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 10" x 13" glass baking dish then place the eggplant slices on top of the sauce in a single layer. Top with 1/3 of the grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle 1/3 of the dried basil all over. Repeat the layering process again starting with the tomato sauce, eggplant and cheeses. You should be able to get a total of 3 layers.

Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove and cool for a few minutes then serve.

So rich and satisfying.

2 comments:

Laura said...

HELLO! I just bought an eggplant today, how cool! Now I know what I'm making with it, yummy. Thanks for swinging in to Just Another Meatless Monday.

Veggie Girl said...

I love eggplant and this dish knocked my socks off. Hope you enjoy it too! Thanks for stopping by!

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