Best eggplant parmigiana ever

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by syzygy82, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. syzygy82

    syzygy82 MDL Novice

    Feb 3, 2013
    Eggplant Parmigiana
    3 eggs
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    18 saltine crackers crushed fine
    2 heaping tablespoons dried parsley
    1 tablespoon Lowry lemon-pepper salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 large eggplant
    2 pounds mozzarella cheese
    1 jar Prego pasta sauce with Italian sausage and roasted garlic
    1 can stewed tomatoes (these are the tomatoes put up with celery, green pepper etc.)
    Olive oil sufficient to fry the eggplant.
    Bring the olive oil to a temperature at which a drop of water will “fry” and preheat oven to 350.
    Mix the crackers, Parmesan and spices thoroughly.
    Whip the eggs with a fork until yolks and whites are well blended.
    Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4" thick slices.
    Mince – do not puree – the stewed tomatoes.
    Partition the breading mix into two or three roughly equal portions. Dip the eggplant slices in the whipped egg and then roll in the breading mix and set the breaded slices on a plate until finished. As the breading mix becomes wet and doughy, go to the next portion since dry mix gives a much better breading. When finished breading, use tongs to place the eggplant slices in the heated olive oil one layer deep.. Fry – with constant watching – until both sides are well browned. It will require three or four fryings to fry all of the eggplant Do not let the eggplant go beyond brown or it will adversely affect the flavor of the finished dish. As each batch is done, place the fried slices on a plate without making any effort to drain the olive oil remaining on them.
    Use a 12' x 18" x 2" baking dish. Spray thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray and spoon in equal portions of the pasta sauce and the minced stewed tomatoes mixing as you spread them over the bottom until the bottom is covered by a 1/4" layer. Carefully place the fried slices of eggplant to cover the bottom completely – one layer deep. Grate mozzarella until the eggplant is well covered. This will use over ½ pound of the cheese. It should now be possible to add the remaining minced tomatoes to the jar of pasta sauce. Do that and mix well. Cover the cheese well with the pasta sauce mix. Repeat the entire process twice which should fill the baking dish. Do not put pasta sauce on top of the last layer of cheese which should be more generous than the other layers. If done correctly all of the pasta sauce and tomatoes will have been used and all of the mozzarella cheese. Knowing that is where you should come out should guide you in the amount to use at each step. If the eggplant was large, you will have enough slices left to make another layer. Save them for later. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cheese on top will have melted into the layer below it and the sauce will be bubbling vigorously. Remove the baking dish and place the remaining slices of fried eggplant on top and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Watch that the cheese does not get too brown. Control that by cracking the oven door and/or regulating the oven temperature.
    Chef’s recommendation. Serve with Australian Black Opal brand Cabernet Savignon.
    This recipe is my favorite and results in the best eggplant parmigiana I have ever eaten. A lot of work to prepare -- but the results more than justify the effort.

    For what it is worth, I am an 82 year old man who loves eating -- which requires you learn to be a good cook.