Eggplant Parmesan

IMG_2099Yesterday, my neighbor Carol brought us a bunch of eggplants and peppers from her brother’s garden. Right away I thought, eggplant Parmesan. Luckily it was not a hot day, as a matter of fact earlier in the day it was pretty cool here down at the shore. We were getting rain from Hurricane Danny as it came up the coast bringing lower temperatures. It had been a hot, humid couple of weeks here at the end of August, I had not been cooking very much. Because we wanted to use up the food in the freezer (we could live out a natural disaster with amount of food we had) and it was a bit cooler out, I decided to make eggplant Parmesan. In the morning, I took out a small container of ricotta cheese from my freezer to let it thaw.

The Eggplant

I took out three pie plates and put a cup of flour in one, a cup of bread crumbs in another and the third one, 2 eggs lightly beaten.

I peeled two large eggplants with my potato peeler and cut them the long way into about 3/8 thick slices.

Prepare a frying pan, preferably a non-stick type, with about 2 t. olive oil or canola oil.

Then I put the slices first into the flour and shook off the excess, then into the beaten egg, coating it thoroughly, then into the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil on high. When it is hot, place the prepared eggplant slices in pan and turn down the heat after about a minute ( just before it starts to spatter all over your stove).

Turn it over when it starts to brown. You just want to cook it until it gets a crust. It will finish cooking in the oven.

Remove slices and put on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. You might find you need more oil as you go along. The eggplant soaks it up, that is why it is good to let it rest on a paper towel.

Repeat the process until all the slices are browned.

The Sauce

It is perfectly fine to use a good quality jar of tomato sauce, as a matter of fact, you will need two jars.

But if you decide to make your own, it is very easy.

1 med. to large onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

You will need two 1lb. 12oz. cans of tomatoes, one crushed and the other diced. I prefer to use the Muir Glen Organic, fire roasted tomatoes, but if you can’t find them, use any other brand of crushed and diced tomatoes.

1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine (not Cooking Wine)

salt

2 -3 Tblsp. sugar

1 Tblsp. dried basil

1 Tblsp. dried oregano

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil or canola oil on medium heat until translucent.

Turn up heat to high and add the wine. Boil until alcohol burns off, a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and sugar.

Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and continue cooking for about 15-20minutes.

Taste for seasonings.

Slice a 1lb. ball of mozzerella cheese, less than 1/4 inch thick slices

Mix 16oz container of  ricotta cheese and 3/4c of grated parmesan cheese together. ( you can buy the parmesan already grated )

Put it Together

Put a couple of ladels of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 roasting pan to cover.

Layer the eggplant, the ricotta, the mozzarella, the sauce ending with mozzarella

Repeat untill all the eggplant is used. You should have at least two layers.

Use all of the tomato sauce

Cover loosely with foil and place on a cookie sheet covered with foil to save cleanup in case the sauce boils over.

Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a knife goes into the eggplant easily and the cheese is melted.

Let it rest for about 15 minutes. It is easier to cut if it rests.

TIP

I had some leftover lasagna noodles in a box, about 9 sheets. It was the kind of lasagna that did not have to be boiled. I layered those sheets in my eggplant parmesan. It just added a little extra something.

Judy

1 comment to Eggplant Parmesan

  • Leslie Cannon

    I love this website! Your pictures are clear and inviting; directions are easy to follow! Can’t wait for your next installment!

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