Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

My apologies for not blog-hopping as much - work has been positively crazy lately with back to back meetings (around 7 in a day, believe it or not) and that means sitting glued to the computer for most part and that is definitely not a healthy thing and my back is complaining a lot these days as a result. To add on to my work woes there is an offsite meeting in a different city next month and the thought of being away from the kids for an entire week is rather unnerving...  This will be my first time but hopefully it will be a case of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and help us all get stronger in a way. Will update you later on how that pans out.

Coming to the recipe of the day, I remember ordering Eggplant Parmesan quite often when I first visited Italian restaurants in the US... It came on a bed of spaghetti noodles and was a very filling dish what with it containing deep fried, bread crumb coated eggplants, layered with marinara sauce and mozzarella & parmesan cheese. It is definitely a great way to get eggplant hating people but like many restaurant dishes, it's fairly easy to adapt the recipe to a lower calorie version by making a few changes such as baking instead of deep frying. In an effort to retain the crispness of the eggplants,  the version I make at home does not involve layering the baked eggplant slices and instead I just apply a thin layer of the sauce and sprinkle some cheese. My daughter said that it was like cheese pizza and she's right... this must make for a great low carb alternative to cheese pizza. We enjoyed this with a salad for a tasty weekend dinner.

UPDATE:  Added 28/Feb/2013 - I forgot to mention about how to choose the large eggplants for this dish.. since some can have lots of seeds and be bitter - that could affect the taste of the dish. Choose smooth skinned eggplants that are firm and look fresh... and importantly they should seem light (for their size). The lighter they are, the less seeds they contain.

BAKED EGGPLANT PARMESAN



Ingredients:

Eggplant (large) - 1 (I prefer peeled)
Bread slices - 4
Parmesan cheese, shredded - 1/4 cup
Mozzarella cheese shredded - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Egg whites - 2 or  Egg beaters - 1/2 cup or additional Egg - 1
Oregano/Italian Dried herbs - half tsp
Dried Red Chilli flakes - 1 tsp (reduce or omit if you don't like it spicy)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Storebought tomato sauce/marinara sauce (I used tomato basil) - 1/3 cup
Olive oil - to spray

Method:

1) Peel Eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch pieces (lengthwise). Salt lightly and allow to rest for 30 to 45 mins. You will see drops of water form...  Blot with a kitchen towel/paper napkin. What this process does is to draw out the moisture from the eggplant so it will get crisp when baked instead of becoming soggy.


2) In a mixie jar, add bread slices, dried red chilli flakes, dried herbs, parmesan cheese and blend until powdered.  Spread on a wide plate.


3) In a slightly wide bowl, beat together the eggs (or eggwhites or egg beaters) with a bit of salt and pepper.

4) Preheat oven to 375F and line 2 big baking sheets with foil or parchment. Coat lightly with oil.

5) Dredge/Dip the blotted eggplant first in the egg wash and then in the bread crumb mixture. Lay on the baking sheet(s). Repeat with remaining slices of eggplant without overlapping and bake for about 20 mins.. flipping once after 10 mins.

6) Once the eggplants get browned...  remove from stove, spread a tbsp or so of marinara sauce on each slice of eggplant and sprinkle some of the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted 5 to 10 mins.




7) Remove and serve with salad of choice or as is.

22 comments:

  1. Had a chance to taste these droolworthy dish,but never cooked myself, now i know whether to check if am planning for some,thanks for this wonderful dish.

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  2. I am hoping that the kids will not feel your absence bitterly and will manage well with A.You have a safe and fruitful trip.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks akka... That's what I'm hoping too . .. atleast I'm able to prepare A mentally by discussing it with her... Everytime i attempt to do that with N, he doesn't fully grasp the situation so we will know how he will deal with it only when the time comes and I'm worried abt that.

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  3. If eggplant haters can like this dish I definitely got to try not because I hate them because eggplant is well like around here.

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    Replies
    1. Oh then you must try this... also baking with just some salt and chilli powder or even putting them on the tawa works great with these eggplants.

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  4. Sounds too good. I would love to have it :) I baked potatoes with parmesan 2 days back, this will be more nice as I like eggplants more.

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    Replies
    1. Potatoes with parmesan sounds very yummy... hope you'll be posting it soon.

      Delete
  5. Thank you Priya, Hari Chandana & Sowmya,

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  6. Will try soon.Wanna know did you use homemade or store bought marina sauce.thanks imrose

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    Replies
    1. I used storebought but you could use either one.

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  7. looks yummy,haven't tried this will try out soon....

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  8. This looks like a great way to have a eggplant parmesan

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  9. wowww...i thought ita a pizza slice..yumm..

    ReplyDelete
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  14. Hope the kids managed well without mom for a week. Love the eggplant parmesan tasted once in restau-good one:)

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