Friday, May 4, 2012

How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

Thanks to my mother, she has given me her step by step process (not recipe) of making eggplant parmesan. My mom is old school. She uses things that would send you to the ER for an angioplasty, but from my recipe, you'll probably at worst, get heartburn, (but it'll be so worth it!). It's important for the day before the actual peeling/chopping/frying & stacking the eggplant that you cook your marinara sauce the day before. However you cook marinara sauce is fine, or you can look at this post to see how I cook mine. Cook the sauce for at least 4 or more hours. It's all in the timing.  When you go shopping for eggplant, look for longer (more even) and firm. If you find any soft spots, fuggedaboudit'! Chuck it. Go to another farm market or grocery store.
Redundant as hell, but peel that bitch until she is bare naked. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY likes eggplant with that black skin still dangling off of it. It's not only chewy, but it tastes bitter. Take the time and peel it. Trust me.
Chop it (the best you could) in round little medallions. The shape may vary, but that doesn't really matter. It's all about thin slices, if you can manage. And believe me, I have a hard time trying to get them at their thinnest, including myself.

Bring out the good ol' egg & batter. Mom always told me to use Italian spiced breadcrumbs - various brands can be used. If you're making a large pan, make sure you have enough eggs to back it up or you're screwed.


After egging & breading, places those puppies into a large pan so you can pluck them out for frying.

This is when I develop a bad case of acne, but my favorite part of the process ----frying. Although Crisco and all those artery clogging oils may be 'better' to cook with, olive oil is not only healthier, but it even tastes better. There is a trick to frying with it. Since olive oil tends to burn faster, make sure that you don't have your fryer on the highest setting. Even keel ~ keep it real. Just watch your medallions and flip em' every so often. You want a golden brown, not dark, crispy-break-yo-teef' brown.

Even though olive oil is super duper healthy fer' ya, you're gonna still want to sop all that grease off. My mom always told me to place them on a paper towel and layer them up. It really does do the trick and keeps them separated so they don't stick.


 Make your "gravy" as we Italian Brooklynites say. If you do it the day of -- you're crazy. Make it the day before you make the eggplant. The eggplant itself takes approximately **5** hours to prepare and cook. By the time you're done cooking, you won't wanna eat for another week or so. Great weight loss plan.

Stacking them is key. My mother said you can overlap and stack about four in a row, then add your gravy, then the mozzarella (mootza-dell) and then do it again. Start stacking. Great for developing muscular forearms so you can look like Popeye.

The finished product should look somewhat like this. Remember, add some nice chunky squared-off mozzarella on top with some fresh parsley flakes for garnish. Bake this at 350 degrees for one hour and voila - you got yourself some good eats!  This is a great dish to make for when you're having a lot of guests over, for BBQs (so you can throw some Italian into the mix) or just parties in general. People who don't even like eggplant will love it. It's the best crowd pleaser. Now get in the galley!

For Deb's main blog, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com