Mom's Family Favorite Eggplant Parm

 
almondsandasana_eggplant_parm_prebake.JPG

When I say this is a family favorite, I mean this is literally the dish I think everyone in my family would pick as their #1 pick from my mom's arsenol. And that's saying a lot because both her and my dad are really good cooks. To be honest I think this might have actaully started out as a dish my dad made and taught to my mom, and while he is certainly capable (as we all are now) at making it, it's usually thought of as her specialty. It's filling and hearty but hey it's vegetarian (#meatlessmonday anyone??) It's a little time consuming but the final result is so well worth it becuase I've never in myt life, and trust me I've ordered it a lot, had a better eggplant parm.

As I mentioned in this post, I have had a really hard time with cooking, and especially vegetables, in the first tri-mester so when, at 12.5 week's, I was suddenly interested in cooking it I figured I should hop on it. I originally planned to be a little lazy and use a store bought sauce but after taste testing I wasn't pleased so quickly whipped up a batch of homemade sauce instead using an onion, a large can of whole peeled tomatoes and a few dried herbs. This made 6 servings and let me tell you the leftovers only get more delicious!

What I Uesd:

  • 1 large eggplant sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large jar of your favorite marinara sauce or make it from scratch
  • 1.5 cups grated Parmesan 
  • 3 cups Italian bread crumbs (maybe more so have it close by)
  • 6 eggs beaten 
  • 1/2 - 3/4lb Whole Milk Mozzarella (ok it CANNOT be fresh mozz and you want it to be Whole Milk not Skim. Usually Polly-O makes one but I couldn’t find it at my store so I had to buy a block of it and then just cut it into rounds or rectangles about the size of each eggplant slice. Absolute worst case you get shredded mozzarella.
  • Plenty of oil for frying - I used grapeseed oil

How To:

  1. Put the beaten eggs into one shallow bowl and the breadcrumbs into another.
  2. On medium/high heat fill the pan with oil so the surface is covered and then add a little more
  3. Dredge a few pieces of eggplant in the egg wash on both sides then in the breadcrumbs utill fully coated
  4. Pan fry 4-5 pieces at a time until golden on each side (a couple of minutes)
  5. Then remove the eggplant and place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels while they cool and the excess oil absorbs into the towels
  6. Repeat until eggplant is finished (may have to swap out the oil partway through if it gets a bit smokey)
  7. Once that’s done, in a rectangular baking dish put a few spoonfuls of the sauce on the bottom & spread it around to avoid sticking
  8. Then add a layer of eggplant, a layer of mozz, a layer of sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat (usually 2-3 layers depending on how much you have).
  9. If you are baking it right away while warm it will probably take 30 minutes at 350/375 until bubbling. If you put it in the fridge in between (which you totally can!) plan on 45 minutes in the oven - I would start with foil on the top for the first half then remove the foil to crisp a little
 
IMG_3881.jpg
 Whole Milk Mozz

Whole Milk Mozz

 Not the actual quantities, just an idea of what you need  - notice the sliced mozz in the top right corner!

Not the actual quantities, just an idea of what you need  - notice the sliced mozz in the top right corner!

 Homemade Sauce 

Homemade Sauce 

 The set-up... my eggwash/dredging/frying station!

The set-up... my eggwash/dredging/frying station!

 Frying away!

Frying away!

 Perfectly golden

Perfectly golden

 Fresh outta the oven!

Fresh outta the oven!

 side salad: butter lettuce, avocado, grapeseed oil, lemon juice, S&P

side salad: butter lettuce, avocado, grapeseed oil, lemon juice, S&P

 I may have also made a little fehttuchini alfredo - don;t judge, I'm pregnant! :-)

I may have also made a little fehttuchini alfredo - don;t judge, I'm pregnant! :-)