Saturday

Italian cooking lesson for my youngest....

Parmigiana for Marc ~

It all started many years ago, when Marc was a little guy that slid a chair up to the stove, while I was making eggplant parmesan.  He loved to eat them like cookies, while they were sitting, draining on brown paper bags and watched while I was frying them.   That was many years ago.  Now grown and on his own, he wanted to learn to make an Italian dinner for his friends. The recipe was taught to me over 40 years ago by his grandmother, when I watched her make it.  It's really something to be passed along that way, generation to generation.  It's more about technique than it is about a recipe. 

So to start you need about 6 cups of sauce/gravy.  You can either
use your own, or I have a recipe posted earlier here.  All of my amounts listed here are estimates.  I usually have extra ingredients on hand, as I go by look, rather than weights and measures.  I'll give you a tip though.... you cannot mess up eggplant parmesan.  It will taste wonderful no matter what.  Just use good ingredients and fry the eggplant properly, "golden brown".

2 large eggplants
1 8oz ball of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup good parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
2 cups of Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
6 eggs, whisked

Peel and slice your eggplants about 1/8" thick.  To me, this is essential. 



Next set up your dredging station, whisked eggs in a bowl, breadcrumbs on a platter (I don't put the whole amount down.  I start with 1/2 cup and add as I go).  A clean platter to place the breaded eggplant slices. 


The platter is ready to be fried.


I didn't get a picture of the actual frying, but heat up enough oil on the bottom of large skillet about 1/4" deep.  Begin with your heat on high, drop a piece of breadcrumb into the hot oil.  If the breadcrumb bubbles, then your oil is ready.  Place slices of eggplant into oil and turn stove down to medium high, cook on each side until golden.  About 1&1/2 minutes per side.  If your oil gets blackened on the bottom, or starts to look too dark, empty oil into a coffee can placed in your sink, wipe out and put a new batch of oil into your pan.  You should only have to change your oil once about halfway through your frying the eggplant.  As your eggplant cooks, remove and place on a platter with paper towels under each layer to drain any excess oil.

Now we are ready to make the eggplant parmesan.  Ladle some your sauce/gravy onto a 9 x 13 platter, like this.  Not too much, you don't want your dish swimming in gravy.


Now place a layer of eggplant on top of sauce.  Place them very close together, even overlapping a bit.  Then add slices of mozzarella (you decide how much).  I slice or tear the pieces and place about 1/2 ball onto this layer an then sprinkle about half your grated parm on top.  Another layer of sauce and repeat with the cheeses. 


A proud son with his finished eggplant parmesan, ready for the oven.  And a nice cold beer for his hard work. 


At this point, cover with aluminum foil.  Place in a preheated 350 F. degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove foil, bake for 10 minutes longer and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

"If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime."  Anonymous

Enjoy ~

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