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Flist, I am sick. I will be fine, but for now I am grumpy and cranky and want forehead kisses and woebegone faces of sympathy, and I am completely surrounded by a lack of all of that. This is what comes of having cats. Sally Derg is asleep and dream-farting in the hallway, so there's nothing to be gained from her presence in the slightest.

BUT I PROMISED A RECIPE OF DELICIOUSNESS, and I will not disappoint. Unless you hate things that are great tasting, in which case you're hosed. I've made this multiple times now, and feel like I've got it down solid.

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingremidents
3 good sized eggplants, washed, top cut off, sliced relatively thin (1/4 inch, cut from top to bottom)
flour for dredging (all purpose)
salt for making the eggplant weep (feel free to tell it sad stories of woe if you have sodium issues but understand that eggplant has Seen Things)
your best olive oil
your best self (smile)
2 28 oz. cans of tomatoes (I prefer Glen Muir fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, personally)
several cloves of garlic (I like about 5)
several fresh basil leaves (to taste - I use a handful) rolled like a cigar and sliced on the diagonal (aka chiffonade)
mozzarella, sliced (enough to cover the top of your preferred casserole dish, about 5 oz?)
1 C grated Parmesans cheese (use good stuff) or more, if you'd prefer
a glass of wine - this is for you, because you're worth it


What do:
Get a big colander and layer the eggplant slices in this. Every slice gets salted with a good pinch of salt. You need to draw the moisture out of the slices so you don't have a mushy mess. Once all the eggplant is in the colander, put something heavy on it to press out the moisture. Plan for a half hour for the eggplant to be pressed. Or don't plan, I'm not going to tell you how to life your life. I mean, I will, but you can live it how you're going to live it. I might need another glass of wine.

While the eggplant cries quietly in your sink, get a heavy-bottomed saucepan going on medium-low heat, coat the bottom, smash your garlic cloves with the side of your knife - or your fist, it might make you feel better - and sizzle for a few seconds. Don't burn your garlic. This I will boss you about. Burned garlic is the breath of the devil. Add in your tomatoes (if you've used whole peeled, let it simmer for 10 minutes before taking your potato masher to crush them up), ad a pinch or two of salt, a crank of pepper, and let it simmer for several minutes. (I like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes, but YMMV). Once it looks like it's thickening and reducing, add the basil, stir, and put on the lowest setting to stay warm. You don't want it bubbling away to nothing or burning. Burned tomato sauce is not unlike the tears of murdered angels.

Take the eggplant slices, tell them to pull themselves together, and press between paper towels to get the last water droplets out. Stack on a plate. Get a big baking sheet/jelly roll pan (I end up needing two) and drizzle a healthy amount of olive oil on it. Crank the oven to 450F. Dredge the slices of eggplant in flour and place on your baking sheet. Bake for about 5 - 10 minutes, flip over and bake the other side. This crisps up the eggplant and adds a great dimension to the overall dish. This is really what sets the dish apart, so if you skip this, you may as well skip everything. *flips table*

NOTE: I've used panko instead of flour before and it ends up baking all mushy. Stick with flour. No seasoning is necessary to add to your flour. Learn from my mistakes.

Once you have all the eggplant slices crisped up, smile at those glorious brown crispy beauties and lower the oven temp to 400F. Put a ladle of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish, spread around (this won't cover the whole base). Layer the eggplant, sprinkle Parmesan over the slices, and add another ladle of sauce, more eggplant, Parmesan, etc until you get to the top layer. Top with your mozzarella slices and Parmesan. If you have leftover sauce, throw it all out because you failed. NO! Save that and make a fancy sammich with mozzarella, basil and garlic! And then do better next time, COME ON. *flips table*

Bake for 20 minutes, check for brown and bubbling cheese. Need longer? Take longer. Otherwise, pull it out and let it sit for about 5 - 10 minutes, then slice and serve. It's like a lasagne of delicious veggies and sauce with enough cheese to be satisfying (but not leave you feeling guilty). This reheats beautifully, too. Thick and hearty, but surprisingly low calorie, high in protein, etc.

(For those who care about such things, here's the nutritional breakdown. The dish as I've listed makes 10 servings (you'll want two) so ONE serving:
241 calories
9 g fat
528 mg sodium
30.6 g Carb.
8.3 g fiber
3.9g sugar
13.2 g protein


And now I'm going to curl up in a ball and sleep. Mmm, naps. (BTW, there are more amazing recaps up at HDJM! Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, The Bridge and Buffy S1e3! Thank you for sharing links, commenting, liking, etc. We appreciate it!)

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
halfmoon_mollie
Oct. 9th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This looks great and not so hard but...I'm the only person I know who eats eggplant.
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
I fooled a neighbor child into thinking it was chicken?
halfmoon_mollie
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...
ladycyndra
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Awww get some rest, Stoney!! If I was near, Id make you some chicken soup. =)
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
I WOULD LET YOU! *sobs brokenly*

;)
mrmonkeybottoms
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
"This crisps up the eggplant and adds a great dimension to the overall dish. This is really what sets the dish apart, so if you skip this, you may as well skip everything. *flips table*"

hahahahahahahahaha
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
Hahaha - I'm glad I made you laugh!!

AND HOORAY FOR MORE BUFFY!! As soon as you post, I see the hits pouring in. <3
zyrya
Oct. 9th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, this sounds fantastic. Would it work with zucchini? Or peppers? I'm allergic to eggplant.

Also, you would write the awesomest cookbook. I laughed and smiled and nodded and empathised with the ingremidents in every paragraph.
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
I bet it would work with zucchini! You wouldn't want to make them weep (ha) too long, though. Maybe for about 10 minutes? Or skip it and roast out the excess liquid in that step.

I would LOVE to write a recipe book! I actually wrote up a cocktail book to accompany my Glee recaps but it's languishing on my hard drive. Loads of imgremidents there. ;D
a2zmom
Oct. 9th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
My poor sick Stoney. You should demand your family pamper you.

That recipe sounds so tasty. Not that my husband would ever eat eggplant.
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
*leans and cries pityingly on your shoulder*

You know, I did trick the family into eating this by just not saying it was eggplant. I've learned that when it's crispy and meaty in texture like this that people don't know it's not chicken. :D
a2zmom
Oct. 9th, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
Hubby will not put anything in his mouth unless he knows exactly what is in it. And once he does, he refuses to try it.

He also does not like cheese (except he eats pizza). Blasphemy, I know.
entrenous88
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)
Eggplant Parmesan is always my favorite! Also, you are my favorite! i love you, Stoney! *FLAPS ARMS REALLY HARD TO GET TO YOUR HOUSE*

I hope you flipped over that table for realsies, because you are badass!
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I LOVE YOU TOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! *Toyota Feeling Leaps to catch you!*

Seriously, this recipe is SO GOOD. (And I was thinking of you and that you might enjoy it!! )

OMG, J, YOU ARE THE BOMB AND I HEART YOU TUNZ, UNDERLINE UNDERLINE!
entrenous88
Oct. 10th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
I'm totally married to my Moosewood Eggplant Parm recipe, BUT I would nom up all of yours in a heartbeat!
brunettepet
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
This looks delicious and totally guilt-free (including the wine because I never feel guilty about alcohol unless I haven't saved any for the mister). I prefer Glen Muir fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, personally Me, too, in pretty much every recipe. We're worth it!

Feel better soon.
stoney321
Oct. 9th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, never feel guilty about a glass (or three) of wine! ANTIOXIDENTS.

Mm, mm, Glen Muir is a quality product. I'm typically against any canned tomatoes that have basil leaves in them because they leave a metallic aftertaste. Fresh! NOM!

*squishy hugs followed by Lysol* Thank you!
txvoodoo
Dec. 20th, 2013 06:48 am (UTC)
This is ALMOST what I do, except I do (almost) panfry the eggplant briefly. Almost means it's not soaking in oil, there's barely a KISS of olive oil in the pan - just enough to shine. It gives a little crisp and sealing that, to me, baking doesn't.

One other thing I do? Since hubby HATES eggplant, I do this production & freezer style, so I can have it whenever I want. So I do all the eggplant prep up through frying them, then bag them in 1-serving sidzes, and just remove & continue with the "parm" instructions in an individual baking dish.

Also, I go EXTREMELY light on tomato now. Since the surgery + diabetes, it's just not really friendly to me. The Sicilian in me WEEPS copiously.

OH OH, I also use wet mozzarella. Dry, to me, is too pungent and salty. I love the mildness and creaminess of wet! And it reminds me of the mozzarella I'd buy with my grandmom in the Italian Market in South Philly. :D
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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