Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eggplant Parmigiana

I've always loved restaurant Eggplant Parmesan, but haven't ever been able to make a really good one at home. I figured out this is because in trying to be health conscious, I've always breaded and then baked the eggplant before assembling the dish. Which works fine, but of course it lacks the super-yum factor.

I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Living magazine, and since eggplant was on sale this week I decided to try it. Simple, easy, and super-yum! Even my 15 month-old loved it. A really good (homemade if you can) marinara sauce is key.

Eggplant Parmigianafrom Martha Stewart Living, January 2011

For Breading and Frying
2 cups fine plain fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

For Assembling
Marinara Sauce
3 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions1. Bread and fry the eggplant: Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Put flour, eggs, and breadcrumb mixture in 3 separate dishes. Dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil in large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry eggplant until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. (If oil gets too dirty, discard, and heat an additional 1/4 cup.)

3. Assemble the dish: Preheat oven to 375. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant on top, overlapping slightly. Top with 1 cup sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 Parmesan. Repeat twice to form layers with eggplant, sauce, then cheeses. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.

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