eggplant Parmesan

I like eggplant Parmesan, and sometimes I just want a really good vegetarian comfort food, something that is cheesy and oh-so delicious! Yes, it will totally take me to the gym the next day to burn off those calaries, but sometimes, it’s just worth it to indulge. I found this Eggplant Parmesan, recipe through: Stephanie – The Cozy Cook. Click on the link, if you want to see her recipe (it’s at the bottom of this post), or if you want to visit her website, for more delicious recipes!

Here’s what I’ve learned about sea salt compared to table salt (that I don’t use anymore), a little bit of sea salt goes a long way, and it’s healthier for you than table salt. Oh, and it’s much more flavourful, than table salt. So, when you are sweating out your eggplant, to absorb the excess water, that is found in eggplant, 92% of water, you just need a little bit, or your dish becomes a bit too salty. Something I learned, years ago, about sweating eggplant. Unless, you want a salty dish, where you will need water, because you will feel dehydrated, than I mean, go for it.

Let the eggplant sweat for an hour, covering them with a paper-towel. Once the hour is up, I began the using the station, I had set up. One bowl had the egg mixture, another bowl and the bread-crumbs mixture, and one bowl had the flour mixture. As I went through the assembly line with the each eggplant, I placed them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Once I had finished each eggplant, I popped them into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. I continued this process until I didn’t have any eggplant left.

Afterwards, I began setting my baking dish to be ready to bake. I followed the instructions, Stephanie, from Cozy Cook, had mentioned. It’s listed below, plus the other options on how you would like to make your dish; fry or bake. ‘m sure frying your dish would be great, however I opted to bake mine, instead. Baking is a bit healthier, than frying. I’m just saying, if anyone wants to go on a healthier side.

Check out the Eggplant Parmesan recipe below by Stephanie, Cozy Cook:

Ingredients

US CUSTOMARY – METRIC

  • 3 medium eggplants, ripe
  • Salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 splashes milk, optional
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, separated
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 oz. Part Skim Mozzarella, grated
  • Basil, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

Bread the Eggplant

  • Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices. Season each side with salt and lay them in between paper towels. Let them sit for one hour to allow the paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
  • Create an assembly line to bread the eggplant:
  • Station #1: Combine the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper on a large plate.
  • Station #2: Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add an optional splash of milk to thin it out slightly. It’s easier to dunk and lightly coat the slices this way.
  • Station #3: Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and ½ cup Parmesan cheese on a large plate.
  • Dip each slice into the flour and ensure it’s thoroughly covered. Next, dip into the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumbs. Stack the breaded slices on a plate as you go.

To Fry:

  • Add vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat. Use just enough to submerge each slice by half. Add more as needed while they cook.
  • Use kitchen tongs to gently place about 4 slices at a time into the heated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Continue to fry the remaining batches. Reduce the heat if the pan starts to get too hot.

To Bake (Alternative Method to Frying):

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the breaded eggplant on lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  • Set the cooked slices on a wire cooling rack to allow air to circulate and keep them crisp.
  • Note: You can stop here if you are preparing this ahead of time. Let the eggplant slices cool completely and refrigerate for up to two days, or flash freeze for an hour before stacking them in a freezer bag.

Assemble and Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish and spread a light coating of marinara on the bottom. Top it with a layer of breaded eggplant slices.
  • Top the eggplant with marinara sauce, then with grated mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of eggplant slices, then with marinara, then with mozzarella. Continue until you’ve used all of the eggplant.
  • Sprinkle the top of the mozzarella with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until the top is hot and bubbling.
  • Top with chopped basil or parsley if desired and serve!

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