Monday, June 15, 2009

Eggplant Parm

I learned how to make many great Italian (American) dishes when I worked at Comella's when I was in high school. One of our favorites is eggplant parm, which we often, as we did last night, eat as a sandwich.

Eggplant Parm Sandwiches
Eggplant, sliced thinly, peeled or unpeeled
bread crumbs
Italian Seasoning
tomato sauce
hot peppers (optional)

Start by slicing the eggplant, it can be either peeled or unpeeled.

Toss the slices with salt and let sit at least an hour in colander with a pan under. This help soften the eggplant, so that after it is cooked it won't have that chewy texture.

After the eggplant has sat, rinse quickly and pat dry with a towel.

To cook, prepare three dishes. The first with flour, the second with eggwash (egg with a touch of milk) and the final with bread crumbs. Season these with salt and pepper. If using plain bread crumbs adds some Italian seasoning to them. Set them up right next to your pan.

Heat up a little oil in your pan as you begin to prepare the eggplant. Dredge (coat both sides) the eggplant in the flour, then dunk in the eggwash and finally in the bread crumbs, then place in the hot pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on a side until golden and cripsy. When done, place on a towel lined plate.

Once you have enough eggplant to make your sandwich, slice the bread and top with slices of the eggplant. Top with cheese and broil for a minute to warm the cheese.

Meanwhile warm up the tomato sauce.

Top with the tomato sauce and hot peppers.

To make a baked Eggplant Parm, cook all the eggplant and set aside. In a baking dish, pour in enough pasta sauce to cover the bottom. Top with a layer of eggplant, then with cheese. Alternating between eggplant and cheese. After a couple of layer, pour in more sauce, then continue with the eggplant. Finally top with more sauce.

You can also through in other vegetables as well, such as spinach or mushrooms. Or other cheeses such as mozzeralla or fontina.

Bake in a 400 deg over about 20 - 30 min until hot.

This will store well before cooking either in the fridge or freezer.

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