Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana is an entrée which is essentially eggplant topped with marinara sauce and Parmigiana Reggiano and then baked. The same is made with chicken and veal as well in place of aubergine. Originally eggplant was breaded and fried but now with health consciousness catching up, the eggplant is baked instead.
This recipe gives approximate measures because I have realized tastes can differ and some like it heavy on the sauce while others like it extra cheesy. I have had Eggplant Parmigiana in restaurants where it was heavily breaded and also over sauced. For me, I prefer the eggplant sliced slightly thick and then baked in only one layer, this makes it slightly crisper than when slices are layered.
Eggplant - 1
Egg - 1
Bread crumbs - 1/2  cup
Pasta sauce as required
Mozzarella cheese as required
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as required
Oil to brush on eggplant and baking dish
Salt as per taste (very little required)
Slice the mozzarella cheese and then cut into strips. Grate the Parmigiana Reggiano cheese and keep aside.
Slice the eggplant in 3/4th inch thick slices and keep it in salted water. Break an egg and beat it with a pinch of salt and pour it into a saucer. Keep another saucer of bread crumbs. Take one eggplant slice out dab the extra moisture off with a paper towel, then dip it into the beaten egg and let it coat both sides. Hold it for a second over the egg saucer to let excess egg drip off,  then dip into the bread crumbs coating both sides. Prepare each slice of eggplant in this way and keep aside till ready to fry in the pan.
Heat a frying pan and spread a little oil over the complete surface and put each slice in. Do not overcrowd the pan and do not make layers. Cook on medium heat and flip over so both sides are done.
If you prefer baking the eggplant slice, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply or spray oil on the baking tray and make one layer of eggplant slices on the tray. Bake till the slices start browning and take them out.  
In the meanwhile start the prepping for the baking, lower the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the baking pan of choice and lightly spread a little sauce at the bottom. Layer the eggplant on the sauce and then spread some pasta sauce on top of the slices. Lay the mozzarella strips on the sauce at small intervals and then sprinkle the Parmigiana Reggiano in the gaps. If you like it really cheesy increase the quantity of cheese. I prefer to taste the eggplant, sauce and cheese in every bite without any one ingredient dominating the taste.
My Eggplant Parmigiana goes to

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