eggplant parm

     I bought some little white Japanese eggplants at the local farmers' market. They are supposed to be slightly milder than the purple ones. That's what the guy who sold them to me said, anyway... slightly.
     My husband and mother-in-law love Eggplant Parmesan. It isn't my fave, but I made a quickie version for them for dinner. In the past, I've assembled this dish two ways. You can put yours together how you wish.
     It can be placed it in a large, flat baking dish, or individual dishes, like in a restaurant and lay the eggplant out in a single layer, OR you can put it in a deeper pan and make several layers of eggplant, cheese and sauce kind of like a lasagne.
     My husband likes it either way. It comes out gooey, cheesey and bubbly, so the semantics don't really matter.
     Kayla, who is a skeptical gourmand, arrived just as we were sitting down to eat. Wonders never cease... She ate some and loved it. She said it tasted like chicken... parm, of course;)
Here's what I did:
4 Japanese white eggplants, sliced lengthwise
1/2 c. Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 c. panko
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. black pepper
1 egg, beaten with a couple of drops of water mixed in
1 c. canola oil
1 large ball, fresh mozzarella
1 jar prepared marinara
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish and set aside. In a large, flat bottomed pan, heat oil on med. high. Blend egg and water with a fork, in a flat bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper in a large plate. Dip sliced eggplant in egg, shaking off the excess. Lay in the plate, pressing crumbs onto both sides. Gently slide into oil. Saute on both sides until brown. Drain on rack set over a cookie sheet.
Pour a small amount of sauce into bottom of baking dish. Place eggplant slices in bottom. Top with slices of mozzarella. Pour sauce over, then bake for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

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