Ok. I have tried so many new recipes right before Easter, and on Easter. I guess that I will just have to start at the beginning, posting according to occurrence. Starting on the night before Easter. Eggplant Parmesan. After making this, I was amazed at how great it tasted, was it possible that something named "eggplant" could taste so good?
Yes, my good friends Bob and Mike did not want me to make dinner. I'm not crazy hehe. By the picture above, you probably thought that I lost my marbles (did I have any to begin with?), but rest assured I am OK. I saw Peters eggplant on his blog, and thought to myself that I should give it a try. So when perusing the veggie isle, I saw those purple guys. I know this is completely random, but I think that eggplants feel like a beluga whale, of a dolphin or something, which kinda creeps me out.I picked them up, and decided to make them tonight. When I read through the directions, after committing to make the recipe I realized how intricate the directions were! Thats ok. I love a good challenge.I had to use my mandoline to cut it even. Then what baffled me was that you had to set them out, sprinkle them with coarse salt, and let them like drain their liquid. There goes my counter space. . .
Yes, my counter is a cluttered mess TAKEN OVER BY EGGPLANTS! You can see the bottles of vitamins and my Snapple white tea that I was drinking. I definitely got my hands full. Then you had to individually bread them, and pan fry them.I didn't actually fry them, more like crisp them in a little oil in the pan. I'm a health nut, sorta like my family, but probably more. Which really doesn't coincide with my blog, because I love love love to bake.
Then you make the sauce, and layer your stuff.Then to go along with this amazing dinner, I made homemade bread. I told you I had my hands full. . . I decided to take a short cut and just make the turtle bread, but shape it in a loaf for convenience. Then you take the dinner out of the oven. Wile the smell permeates the house.I wanted to take a picture of an individual slice for you to see, and I did, but it just didn't do the dinner justice. Plus everybody in the kitchen was staring at me like I was insane as I photographed our meal. Lol.
2 large eggplants, sliced lenghtwise to 1/2 in. thickness
coarse sea salt
1 can of whole plum tomatoes, hand crushed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 anchovy filletss, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Cut the ends of your eggplant off and then using a mandoline, cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Lay the slice out on a tray and sprinkle each slice with some coarse salt. Allow the bitter juices to leech for 40 minutes.
- In the meantime, Place a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and add your olive oil add your olive oil and anchovy fillets and saute for 3 minutes to soften and perfume the oil.
- Add your onions and garlic and lowert to medium-low and saute for 10 minutes to soften. Now add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste and simmer until the sauce is nice and thick. Reserve.
- Wipe the excess salt and moisture from your eggplant with kitchen towels. Now set up your dipping stations of eggplant slices, a large bowl of egg/milk mixture and your breadcrumbs. Get another large skillet on the stove and throw on enough sunflower (1/2 inch) oil over medium-high heat.
- If your cooking on your own, pre-dredge your eggplant so that you may pay full attention to frying the batches of eggplant. If you have help, have the other person do the dredging and other to do the frying. Dip the eggplant in egg/milk mixture, then the breadcrumbs and fry on both side until golden brown. Fry in batches and reserve on paper towels. Discard the sunflower oil.
- Preheat your oven to 400F (middle rack) and commence assembly of your eggplant parmesan.
- Grease a 14" X 12" baking dish and spread some tomato sauce on the bottom. Now place a layer of eggplant, some sauce, scatter some basil, grated Mozzarella and Parmesan. Continue layering these ingredients until your you've reached your fourth and last layer of eggplant and pour over the remaining sauce, basil and grated Parmesan.
- Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake for approx. 20 minutes and then allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.