Sunday, January 9, 2011
Although I find Ina Garten insanely boring to watch and listen to, I have to admit she does make good food. Eggplant was on sale at my Sprouts this week for $0.69 each (each!)- so I couldn't resist picking up a few. I was going to just make Eggplant Parmesan again, but then I found this recipe and I'm glad we tried this instead. Yum!
I did follow the advice of some of the reviews and add some garlic powder, oregano, and basil to the ricotta mixture to enhance the flavor, and I used one large eggplant (not sure of the weight) but doubled everything else, and it came out perfect. We enjoyed this with some buttered pasta on the side and I'll definitely be making this again.
Final note: The recipe reads as if you are going to make this in two individual gratins, which confused me as I was preparing because I was preparing in just one 9x13... note that that the layers are as such: eggplant, Parmesan, marinara, eggplant, ricotta mixture, more Parmesan.
from Ina Garten
Good olive oil, for frying
3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good bottled marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat about 1/8-inch of olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat, and add more eggplant until all the slices are cooked.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In each of 2 individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.
Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm.