Inspired by a “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” episode focused on eggplant parm, I took to the kitchen last Sunday to make enough to last a lifetime. This is a great make-ahead dish because it definitely gets better with time. This is a sort-of stripped down version that you can make for about $15, granted you will be making enough for dinners and lunches for a week (I even had to freeze some).
Eggplant Parmesan (There’s no parm)
(Makes one large casserole and one small loaf pan)
You will need:
2 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 medallions.
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
2 cups vegetable oil
2 jars of tomato sauce (roasted garlic flavor goes nicely)
2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced very thin)
1. To prepare the eggplants, you need to thoroughly coat them in batter. Set up three bowls, the first with flour, the second with the eggs, beaten, and the third with breadcrumbs. Take each medallion and dip it first in the flour, shaking off excess, then in the egg and finally, coating it in bread crumbs. Set aside on a large flat platter until you have gone through all of the.
2. Head about 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet. Fry the eggplants in batched, cooking for about 2 minutes of each side. You want to get a nice crust without burning them as they will continue to get more tender in the oven. Set aside the finished patties and drain on paper towels.
3. To begin assembling, layer the patties as a single layer on the bottom of your pan. Whatever pan size you have will work, but make sure the sides are high enough. After the layer of patties, pour tomato sauce all over them, completely covering them. Then, cover the pan with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Patties again, sauce, cheese…repeat until you’ve run out.
4. You can refrigerate your dish at this stage and pop it in the oven a few days later, but I recommend cooking it now, since eggplant parm only gets better with time. Coon on 375 for about 30 minutes, untill the top layer of cheese gets a little crisp.
5. In retrospect, I would have added fresh ribbons of basil to each layer…there’s always next time.