Well Sir, its that time of the year to start warm'n up the kitchen oven fer various meals. Now Sir, one of the meals I absolutely love is a great Eggplant Parmesan.
Now Sir, in truth, this particular recipe is kind of a pain in the ass to make, HOWEVER, the end result is well worth the effort.
Cookie's Note: **The trick to a great Eggplant Parmesan is to drain the eggplant slices of excess moisture first, before cooking. By doing this the slices absorb all the great flavors of the sauce and spices. Use only good Olive oil for frying!!**
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
• 2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
• Kosher salt
• 1 28oz can Hunts Garlic & Onion Sauce
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
• Garlic flavored Olive oil (if available to you)
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 – 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1-2 cups Panko Italian breadcrumbs
• 4-6 large eggs, beaten
• 1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
• 1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
• 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1) After peeling the eggplants, cut eggplants crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.
2) While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine minced garlic and Hunts Sauce. Season with salt and pepper (perhaps some sugar to cut the acid) to taste and set aside.
3) When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. Place flour in a wide, shallow bowl, and breadcrumbs in another. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then in the beaten egg, then in bread crumbs. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
4) Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
5) Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
6) Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.