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Richard in Cincy

Rec: Richard's Eggplant Parmigianno

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Joined: Dec 12, 2005

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Posted to Thread #18008 at 3:32 pm on Mar 31, 2010

Cathy, here’s my method. I've tried many recipes and sampled many other recipes, but my conclusion is the slice and bake process is not worth the effort as it results it tough and/or rubbery eggplant that I abhor. I also don’t like the “oven baked” eggplant alternative. The classic Sicilian frying results in tender, juicy, and tasty eggplant. And since I don't make this every wash day, what the hell.

Peel and slice eggplants (I don't do the salting process--haven't found it to make any difference).

Have ready:

Baking dish with a thin layer of red sauce.

Bowl each of flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs seasoned with parsley, grated parmigianno,and your Italian seasoning mix.

Using one hand dredge eggplant slice in flour, dip in egg, toss in breadcrumbs and place in skillet of hot olive oil. Bread and fry each slice until golden brown on each side, adding more olive oil as needed. Don't fry too hot as they get dark brown too quick and don't cook all the way through. Arrange in baking dish as they come out of the skillet. Bread and fry enough to fill up your baking dish. If you have a deep dish, you can add 1 layer of fried eggplant, add a layer of red sauce, then another layer of eggplant, then continue with the recipe.

When finished frying eggplant, cover with chopped fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Asiago cheeses over eggplant. Cover with red sauce. Top with romano, parmigiano, and mozzarella cheeses. I use a LOT of cheese in this.

Bake 30-35 minutes until bubbly and cheese is browning slightly.

Red Sauce for Eggplant Parmigiano
1 large onion, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, diced finely or crushed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp each of fennel seeds, crushed rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, savory, salt, and pepper.
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup chianti
1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, shredded or chopped (this is a different handful than the one sprinkiled over the eggplants--two total).

Saute onion in olive oil until softened. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered for 1 hour.
Optional: Add crumbled Italian sausage with onion for a red sauce with meat.

Best if it sits awhile before serving. Ideally make 1 day in advance and then reheat.


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