Monday, March 15

Eggplant Parmesan

 One of my favorite go-to recipes. Hearty, pretty healthy, and freaking delicious. Oh, and it makes a ton, and the flavor gets better over time, which means it's perfect for leftovers. 

But I cheat. I cheated this time. I used mozzarella cheese instead of parmesan. There's no rhyme or reason, other than it sounded good. Notice I also didn't use regular spaghetti noodles, which means I broke rule #2. Rules 1 and 2 are already broken, and I've come to terms with that. Have you?

 Guess what; those aren't the only rules I plan to break here. Like for instance, the fact that I didn't lay out and salt the eggplant first. I did this for a long time before I got lazy once and didn't feel like doing it anymore. And guess what? It tasted the same to me without taking extra steps to remove the water! 

So anyway, grab that eggplant and slice away into 1/2 inch pieces or thinner. I even left the skin on! 
Once again...

Other than eggplant, you'll also need oil, which I forgot to take a picture of (I used evoo), pasta, which I also forgot to take a picture of, a plate, flour (I used white wheat), and a couple eggs or milk. I usually use milk but wanted to be a...

Sorry. I'll stop with the rebel nonsense. It's at this point that I like to get the oil ready. I like to use a skillet for frying eggplant because you really don't need to deep fry it. In fact, I think it tastes better if you don't - hence why this is pretty easy! So I heat some oil over medium in a skillet while I'm getting everything else ready.
 After you've put the oil over medium heat (we'll turn it up later, for now just keep it on medium so it doesn't smoke), dip the eggplant in the flour. 

Then in the eggs or milk. 

Then back in the flour. 

And onto the plate. After all the eggplant is coated, you can transfer them to the hot skillet.

*Insert picture of the eggplant cooking in skillet*

'cause that would have been nice to take a picture of...
This is what it looks like coming out of the oil. 
I think I ate a slice or 2 while cooking the pasta.....

Yes, and speaking of that, cook your pasta while these are cooking, or after they are done. I used rigatoni because that's what I had on hand, but I give you permission to use whatever you want. 

You're welcome.

Grab the skillet you fried the eggplant in, and empty out the remaining oil. You don't need to get it all out, we just don't want any pools left in there. Pour in your can of tomatoes and heat over medium heat for a few minutes, breaking the tomatoes apart as you go. Add in a couple tsp of sugar, and stir until combined.
 Now at this point, you can serve this dish however you want. I usually get out my iron skillet (for no other reason because it's huge), and layer it like this from bottom to top: sauce on the bottom, then pasta, parmesan cheese, eggplant, more sauce, more parmesan cheese. 

BUT ...I went crazy with the cheese this time. Instead of parmesan on top, I used slices of mozzerella, which doesn't melt like the finely grated parmesan I usually top it off with. So to fix this problem, I stuck the whole dish into the oven and set it on a high heat broil for about 2-3 minutes. 

Then I set this bad boy on the table. 
And then I went to grab my husband, who had fallen asleep on the couch. I called, but he didn't answer. I tried to bribe him with blueberries, but nothing. Not even a distant whimper. 

And then I discovered this...
My husband. Asleep. This, folks, is married life.

Now please excuse the ugly pillowcase. It was one of the many items my husband owned as a bachelor. As a matter of fact, I thought we got rid of that thing a long time ago! Hey, Ugly Pillowcase, what do you have to say for yourself? 
 Oh good grief. I won't even go into the couch potato pillows. That's another post for another day.

But lookie there. He's not holding the remote!
 I would also like to ask you to excuse the Speed Racer blanket. No, we do not have children..well not children under 25 anyway. Not children other than ourselves anyway.

But then I woke him up. After taking 12,000 pictures of my poor, speed racer, heart blanket infused husband, I light touched him to wake him up for dinner.

*quiet whisper* "Hey elf, dinner is ready!" (Don't ask why, but we call each other 'elf' sometimes

At this point my husband jumped up as if I blew a frog horn in his ear. He almost joined Elizabeth. It was almost the big one. 

"Don't scare me like that!" -- he said.

"Sorry." -- I said. There was nothing more to say. This was just part of the routine.

But he woke up to this and all was okay again.
And this..which I'll share a little later on. 
 I'm picky about garlic bread...REALLY picky, and I finally found the right way to do it. Well, the right way for me, anyway.

* 1 Eggplant (medium size, or whatever size you can get)
* 1C Milk or 2 Eggs, beaten
* 1C Wheat or white wheat flour
* 28 oz jar whole tomatoes
*2 tsp sugar
* 1 lb Pasta
*  1C Parmesan cheese (or mozzarella cheese slices)
* Oil, for cooking
* Parsley (optional)

Slice eggplant into rounds. Separate eggs (or milk) into one bowl, and flour in another. Add enough oil to a skillet to cover the bottom, and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, dip eggplant into flour, then liquid (eggs or milk), then flour again, and set aside on a plate.  Once all are coated, transfer coated eggplant to the hot oil. At this point, you can turn the heat up to medium high (if it smokes, turn it down again). Let cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until light brown.

Transfer cooked eggplant to paper towels to drain. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Meanwhile, remove the leftover oil from your skillet, and pour in the can of tomatoes, heating over medium heat, and breaking tomatoes apart as you go. After a couple minutes, add the sugar and set aside. Grab a dish and layer a little sauce on bottom (barely enough to cover), then pasta, then half the sauce, 1/4C cheese, eggplant, other half of the sauce, then 3/4 C cheese. If your dish is oven proof, you can place it in the broiler over high heat for 2-3 minutes until the cheese bubbles.



Cool Lassi(e) said...

That Eggplant Parmesan looks fabulous. I am thinking that I should invite myself over to your place cause your posts have most of my favorite comfort foods.
I hope your hubby didn't mind taking pictures of him and posting it in the blog. I also remember once my hubby woke me while I was in deep slumber. I gave him a slap and felt sorry was sort of a reflux. lol.

Piper said...

Lassie, that's hilarious! My husband is the same way, I can see him accidentally doing that. He doesn't actually know he's on here yet.... I don't think he'll mind, but if it's suddenly gone, you'll know why! I just couldn't resist with the heart blanket. He was too cute!

kace @ no guts no glory said...

Hmmm I've never tried eggplant parm but this looks pretty good!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I do this with chicken, although we call it Mozzarella Chicken. The coating is a breadcrumb/parmesan mix and then it's sprinkled with mozzarella while it bakes. I serve it with baked potatoes and it's one of our favorites.

I will have to try it with eggplant.

Gulmohar said...

LOL...That's hilarious..

This looks too good that even a person who doesn't like eggplant much, can't resist :-)

ARUNA said...

Looks colorful n yumm......and those were some real hilarious pics!

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