The end of summer always seems to bring in a bumper crop of egg plant and I love to cook up a batch or two of yummy Eggplant Parmesan. Jenn and Roy have been asking for it and I was happy to make this family favorite. It is rich and delicious and once a guest thought I was pulling his leg when I said it was eggplant and not veal. Honestly, it's that good!
Eggplant Parmesan - serves 4
1. One of the reasons this dish is yummy is that the sauce is nice and rich! So the first thing you want to do is make this quick, easy sauce and let it simmer on low heat while you are messing around with the eggplant. In a saucepan mix together 2 (15 0z.) cans of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Let it simmer on low heat while you deal with the eggplant.
2. Cut the ends off and peel 1 good sized eggplant. Cut it into 1/4 inch slices. Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in a bowl. In a second bowl whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk together. In a third bowl mix together 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
3. Do yourself a favor and use tongs if you have them! Take a slice of eggplant and dredge it in the flour.
4. Then dip the flour coated slice into the egg mixture.
5. Last, cover the slice in the bread crumb mixture.
6. In a frying pan, heat up about 6 tablespoons of olive oil. In batches, brown the coated egg plant slices on both sides. Watch carefully that the pan doesn't get too hot, because you want the egglplant to be golden brown, but not burnt. Place the browned eggplant slices on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Spoon a little of the red sauce in the bottom of the baking pan that you are going to use and place the first layer of egg plant in the pan.
7. You will need 8 oz. of deli style mozzarella cheese (about 12 slices). Then start layering: spoon a bit of sauce over the eggplant, place slices of mozzarella over that, then a bit of sauce on the cheese, add another layer of eggplant and continue...
8. Finish by putting the last of the mozzarella cheese on top, poke into the sides any extra eggplant & cheese that you might have ended up with, and pour the last of the sauce over it all.
9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes to an hour. If the top seems to be getting done too fast, put a foil "tent" over it to keep it from looking burnt. When there is about 5 minutes left, sprinkle the top with some grated Parmesan cheese.