Monday, July 28, 2008

Jul 28: Eggplant Parmigiana

A couple things today...

First, I finally pulled some carrots from my container garden to see what they looked like. Decent size. The seed directions recommended eating the carrots when they're the diameter of a nickel, 0.85" D. Some are slightly larger, quarter shown, but they tasted fine... like a carrot. Maybe slightly sweeter. I do like the funky ball/bell shape.

Second, S loves M's Eggplant Parmigiana and I've been trying to do a decent version. I believe M received the recipe from a Greek neighbor so it's seems to be a combo eggplant parm and moussaka recipe since this recipe contains potatoes.

The Fixins'
1 eggplant cut into round about 3/8" thick (See note about the eggplant)
1 russet potato, large, cut into 1/4"thick rounds
Spaghetti sauce - I made one with canned tomatoes, ground beef and Italian sausage
Shredded whole milk mozzarella

The Doin'
Fry the eggplant rounds with olive oil until browned on both sides. I used a pastry brush to brush the eggplants with olive oil. Also, after they're browned, season with salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Fry the potato rounds until browned on both sides. Remove from pan season with salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

The layering: used an 8" x 8" Pyrex dish.
Bottom - a light coating sauce.
A layer of potatoes
A layer of eggplant
Sauce and cheese on top.
I had enough for another partial layer...
Top with sauce

Bake 350 for about 30 - 45 minutes.
Add final cheese topping at the last minute to melt and slightly brown the cheese.

Right out of the oven...

On the plate, eggplant parm, a salad with a simple oil/vinegar dressing, garden fresh carrots glazed with butter and a little brown sugar and bread slathered with garlic butter.

Today's version was much better than my previous attempts. I asked M how it was made and during her explanation I realized I was probably using too much sauce which water downed the flavor of the eggplant and potatoes.

Note - I used a male eggplant since they contain less seeds and less bitter than a female eggplant. Male eggplants have a flat blossom end while a female eggplant's blossom end looks like an innie (bellybutton).

Also, there's no need to salt the eggplant. I believe the salting (to remove the bittern juices) is a food myth.

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