Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan



Break open the Chianti and turn up Dino, because we mangia mangia in Italia twice this week. Food Maxx and Foods Co. made offers which could not be refused.  Foods Co. had giant eggplants for $.57 a pound, Food Maxx had quality jarred pasta sauce for $.88, and shredded bagged Mozzarella for $1.35. I got 3 of everything. With prices like these, that's amore!

More time was spent on this crock than usual. Eggplant was salted, drained, battered and fried. Claims of my Italian heritage and the need for authenticity might impress you, but the reality of the added labors had more to do with Catholic guilt over not wasting eggs very close to their end date than any ethnic pride. Besides, everyone knows no self respecting Italian uses jarred sauce and pre-shredded bagged Mozzarella.

Winner, Loser or Meh

Bravo!  On second thought: Brava!  Afterall, this is an "egg"plant and I am a woman.  Wonderful, wonderful.  The unintended vino really added lovely depth of flavor.  I will make this again and always with the wine.  If you want to start this in the morning, before work, use a plug in lamp timer from the hardware store.  Turn the crock on low when you leave, but set the timer to turn on in the afternoon.  You will come home to a lovely hot meal and wonderful smells.  I did. 

Recipe

I used a 6 quart crock for this.

Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggplants, unpeeled, ends removed, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 Tbls flour (I used the last of organic whole wheat from Winco, gluten free peeps can use other flours)
  • 1/3  cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used Winco bulk bin, gluten free peeps can use other crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I had about this much left over of Italian 3 cheese blend, so I used it instead)
  • 32 oz marinara sauce (the sale jars were only 26 oz, so I mixed in some old tomato paste that needed using and a generous splash of left over Merlot that needed using) 
  • 12 oz Mozzarella cheese, grated (3 cups)
  • olive oil
Place eggplant rounds in a bowl  in layers and salt each layer. Add cool water and let stand 30 minutes to drain bitterness.  Dry with hand towel or paper towels.  Heat oil in no stick skillet over medium high heat. In a flat bowl, mix eggs, flour and water. Dip eggplant slices in mixture, letting excess drip off.  Saute eggplant, in batches until brown on both sides. In a small bowl, mix  bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese.

Spray crock with no stick spray.  Spread a small layer of marinara sauce on the bottom evenly to avoid sticking. Layer 1/4 the eggplant, top with 1/4 of the crumbs, 1/4 of the marinara sauce and 1/4 of the Mozzarella cheese. Keep the cheese at least a 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge of the crock to prevent sticking.  Repeat to make four layers of eggplant, crumbs, sauce and cheese. Cover.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.  Let cool a bit before serving so that the dish remains firm.

2 comments:

  1. I used a crock liner and spray. I used the spaghetti sauce I had on hand. Oh my goodness, this is good!

    Thank you!

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  2. I made it this weekend and it was fabulous. Didn't use the wine and didn't miss it. Also got a super-late start on this (started at 4pm!) so I cooked it on high for about 2.5 hours and that worked just fine. Leftovers for lunch today are even more delicious.

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