Saturday, September 19, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan with a Truffle Balsamic Glaze

Eggplant Parmesan is a dish I watched my grandfather make many times growing up. I would never eat it when I was a little girl. But once I was a little older and tried it for the first time, it quickly became one of my favorite dishes. I recently made this for my hubby, who was reluctant to try it, but if i put a balsamic glaze on a plate he will eat anything. He tried and loved it, of course. Another great thing about this meal is that it is easy to make and very affordable.

Tip to finding a good eggplant: Check the eggplant the skin should be bright, shiny and smooth. Look for any brown spots or bruises, this is a sign it has gone bad. Press down on the eggplant skin with your thumb, if the spont indents then springs right back up, the fruit is ripe.

Serves approximately 5 - 10 people
(serves 10 as pictured above)

1 large eggplant
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of milk
1 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cups flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
2 cups marinara sauce, (recipe coming soon)
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves as garnish
1 cup canola oil 

Truffle Balsamic Glaze (Optional) 
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey (you can add more if you prefer)
White truffle oil

Directions for Truffle Balsamic Glaze:
(make this first and place in fridge)
In a small saucepan, combine vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally and simmer 20-30 minutes. Drizzle a small amount of white truffle oil.
Remove from heat and let sauce thicken as it cools.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry, then peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch slices.

Lightly season each slice with salt and pepper and place in a large bowl and cover with a paper towel.

You will need 3 bowls, one to beat the eggs with the milk, one for the breadcrumbs, and one for the flour.

Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour, then the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs being sure to coat completely with each step. Set aside on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Once all the eggplant is coated. Place canola oil in a large frying pan and heat oil over medium high heat until oil is hot enough for frying. About 3 minutes. (I like to put a drop of water in the oil if it sizzles, it is ready. Be sure to be careful!)

Fry 3 pieces of eggplant at a time placing the fried pieces on a separate baking sheet covered with a layer of paper towels to absorb excess oil. Once all the eggplant is fried you can begin to assemble it. In a large baking dish add a thin layer of sauce, just enough to completely cover the bottom.

Place one slice of fried eggplant on the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer. Do not overlap the pieces. Add shredded mozzarella on top of each slice. Then add some grated Parmesan cheese to each slice. Top each piece with another eggplant slice and some marinara sauce. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese to each stack.

 Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add more shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each of the eggplant stack. Place back in the oven uncovered and bake until cheese is melted and browned slightly. Remove from oven and allow the dish to sit for a few minutes before serving. 

Garnish each piece with fresh basil leave. And drizzle truffle balsamic reduction around outer edge of plate. Enjoy!