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I am working mom who loves to cook and bake. I hope to keep track of recipes and share some of my better ones. In the process, hopefully my photography and cooking will get better and better!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

I'm not sure how much you know about the history of medicine, but back in the day, it was felt that disease could be attributed to evil humours infesting the body.

I'm pretty sure eggplant proves that evil humors exist.  
This is what you get after you salt eggplant and let it drain.  

I'm fairly certain if you were to salt Ted Bundy and put him in a colander over a bowl, you'd get the same results.

Anyway, traditional eggplant recipes require frying it in vats of oil, and then baking it.  Cooks Illustrated solves the tenderness/bitterness problem by 1/ peeling the eggplant 2/ salting the eggplant and letting it drain 3/ roasting it at high heat in a single layer.  The result?  Tender, traditional, healthier, and completely yum.     But kind of tough to pull off on a wednesday.  Thankfully, it freezes great and so can be popped in the oven with no issues.

Eggplant Parmesan
Adapted from cooks Illustrated the Best Light Recipe
2-3 medium globe eggplant
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
Egg whites (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 cups parmesan cheese
42 oz tomato sauce (try 1 1/2 batch of my tomato sauce with butter and onion)

FOR THE EGGPLANT: Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (kosher does not dissolve and so does not make it salty--- no table salt please)  in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.

While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees.

Put egg whites in a shallow bowl.  Dip eggplant in egg; Let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set breaded slices on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.  Spray tops of eggplant with cooking spray. Make sure to place  breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer

Bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes.

Layer eggplant, sauce, and cheese.  Freeze at this point for another night, or bake at 350 for one hour, (covered first 30 minutes, uncovered last 30 minutes).  Add thirty minutes to baking (majority covered) if baking from frozen.

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