I love Eggplant Parmesan. I don’t eat it very much anymore because, at the moment, I am the only one in the house that likes it. My eldest daughter and her husband love it so I don’t make it unless they are going to be around to help eat it.
Eggplant is pretty easy to grow, at least here in Texas. If you have a garden I recommend adding an eggplant (is that eggplant plant? eggplant bush?). The flavor when it is fresh is delicate and addictive – not a bit bitter.
I think the first time I had eggplant was when I was a teenager. If you lived in the Dallas area in the 70s you will understand my next phrase. Wyatt’s Cafeteria Eggplant Casserole.” This was mashed eggplant, sort of a souffle, with breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese. I was hooked with one bite. See, my dad liked to eat at interesting, unique restaurants but my mom like eating at Wyatt’s. People wonder why my tastes are so wildly different. HA! I was raised that way.
I actually have a recipe for that. I need to look for it… it may even be on here way down in the cobwebby places where those first, horrible, embarrassing posts that I ever wrote are kept.
Anyway, on to Eggplant Parmesan. It is so good, at least when I make it. I bread the eggplat and pan fry it until it is crispy and then I layer it with Mozzarella and smoked Provelone in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake it until the eggplant is custardy and tender and who in the world needs meat with that?
The secret to good eggplant is twofold. First you need to salt it down and let is stand for about three hours. The you need to really rinse it well. That takes out the bitterness. Next, no matter what recipe you are using – cook it until it is done! Half cooked eggplant is rubbery and nasty – no wonder people dislike this maligned vegetable. Cook it until it feels like custard when you put a knife through it. There should be no resistance.
I like to serve Eggplant Parmesan with spaghetti and a salad, garlic bread on the side. It is one of my favorite meals anytime of the year.
1 box of Panko breadcrumbs 1.53
2 cups flour .24
2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh parsley .05
1 teaspoon dried oregano .05
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil .05
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika .05
1/2 teaspoon of ancho chilie powder .05
1 teaspoon of salt .05
1/2 teaspoon of pepper .05
5 eggs 1.20
1 to 2 eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (cut them a little thinner if you aren’t good with estimating) 1.99 each (I am using 1 eggplant in this breakdown)
About 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce – I like Newman’s Own Sockarooni the best unless I am using homemade. 2.69
8 slices of mozzarella (maybe 1/4 pound?) .37
8 slices smoked Provelone .37
The cost for the entire recipe, which feeds 8 to 10 is a grand total of $8.74
Per serving cost based on 8 servings is $1.09