Five Tips for Perfect Eggplant Parmesan + An Easy Recipe
I’ve been to work function after work function where they only thing on the menu for the lone vegetarian is eggplant parm. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favorites, but no matter how fancy the restaurant, they always seem to mess it up. It’s generally over-breaded, over cooked, and over sauced, which leads to a soggy mess. So when Pants called my cooking ‘restaurant quality’ (referring to those who manage to prepare it well) I was thrilled! I think years of learning what I don’t like made it easy for me to whip up something we both loved.
Here are my tips for perfect eggplant parmesan…
1. Cut the slices about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick – you want them thin enough to cook through without burning the crust, but thick enough that you actually taste the eggplant.
2. Eggplant are often bitter, here’s how to get rid of that problem: Lay the slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 mins to an hour. Then rinse and pat dry before breading.
3. Use seasoned bread crumbs. First coat in flour, then egg wash, and finally bread crumbs. You want the bread crumbs to completely coat the eggplant, but not be too thick.
4. This one is my preference – go easy on the sauce. I’m a vegetarian who actually likes vegetables and while Pants makes fantastic marinara I only added enough to compliment the eggplant.
5. And lastly…have someone else clean :) Pants…what can I say? He’s too good to me :)
Here’s a quick recipe for those who have never tried making it before…
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Slice the eggplant about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Place the slices on a baking sheet or in a collander, sprinkle generously with salt, and let sit for 30 mins to an hour to remove the bitterness. Rinse the slices & press dry.
Whisk two eggs with milk (like you’re making scrambled eggs) in a wide bowl. Pour flour onto one plate and breadcrumbs onto another. First press both sides of the eggplant into the flour, then dip in egg wash and finally press into the breadcrumbs. Like really, press that sucker in there, make ‘em stick! Make sure to get the edges too!
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium-high – your eggplant should sizzle when you place it in. Fry each slice of eggplant until golden brown on both sides. After frying, place eggplant on paper towel to remove excess oil.
If your boyfriend was sweet enough to make sauce and pasta like mine was then you’re all set! Just top a few slices of eggplant with sauce and a little grated parmesan cheese, pasta on the site and a big slice of garlic bread…I’m hungry just writing that!
Any questions??10.07.11 in food