1.25.2006

The Best Eggplant Parmesan Cheese

I got a hold of the The Best New Recipe the Cookbook Cook’s Illustrated put out from the local library. I made the delicious Eggplant Parmesan from their recipe. It was quite a bit of work, about the same as making lasagna, but oh-my goodness, it was tasty.

It wasn’t too unhealthy, because you bake the eggplant instead of fry. It’s actually kind of healthy, at least compaired to the Olive Garden version, which one serving constitutes more than all the calories most people need in a day.

I wrote the recipe up for ehow - Get the recipe here.

1 comment:

  1. The Best Eggplant Parmesan Ever

    Serves 6-8

    EGGPLANT
    2 lbs eggplant (about 2 medium)
    1 tbsn kosher salt
    8 slices sandwich bread, or 4 English Muffins that you didn’t get around to eating last week
    2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
    Salt and Ground Pepper
    4 Large Eggs
    6 tbsn vegetable or sunflower seed oil - don’t use olive oil it can’t take the heat.

    TOMATO SAUCE
    1 sm can tomato paste
    1 cup water
    1 big can of diced tomato (29oz)
    2 tbsn olive oil
    4 garlic cloves minced
    ¼ tspn red pepper flakes
    ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
    Salt and Pepper
    8 oz mozzarella cheese grated (2 cups)
    1 oz Parmesan cheese grated (½ cup)
    1 tspn dried basil

    EGGPLANT: Slice Eggplant Crosswise into ½ inch thick rounds. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to a colander and let drain for 30-45 minutes. Then dry with a paper towel and wipe off any extra salt. This will get rid of any excess moisture so you don’t get soggy fried eggplant.
    While waiting for the eggplant to drain, adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower- middle positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 425 degrees. Crumble the bread into fine, even crumbs. Transfer the crumbs into a pie plate or shallow bowl. Mix in parmesan, ¼ tspn salt, and ½ tspn pepper; set aside.
    Combine flour and 1 tspn of pepper in a large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in a second shallow bowl / pie plate. Place 8-10 slices of eggplant into the bag of flour and shake until evenly coated. Remove the slices, shaking off the excess flour; dip in eggs, letting the excess run off; and coat evenly with bread crumb mixture. Set the breaded slices on a wire rack . Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
    Remove the preheated baking sheets from the oven, add 3 tbsn of vege oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly. Place half the breaded eggplant slices on each sheet in a single layer, bake until well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping the eggplant slices with a wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn the oven off.
    For THE SAUCE: while the eggplant bakes, heat olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and the garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil, the reduced the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes, you should have about 4 cups. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    TO ASSEMBLE: Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Layer in half of the eggplant slices, overlapping the slices to fit; distribute 1 more cup of sauce over the eggplant; sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Layer in the remaining eggplant and dot with 1 more cup of sauce, leaving the majority of the eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with the parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and the cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, scatter the basil over the top, and serve, passing the remaining tomato sauce separately.

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