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August 31, 2007 / Tony

Eggplant Parmesan

A few nights ago, I decided to make a little impromptu dinner with a friend.  Eggplant, as of right now, is in season and readily available at my local Farmer’s Market.  So I decided to make my favorite eggplant dish: Eggplant Parmesan.  But before we get to that, my dinner companion was kind enough to bring ingredients for a delicious Greek-style salad.  She brought chopped Romaine lettuce, red onion, pepperoncini, and Kalamata olives.  The last two ingredients were particularly good as they came from the olive bar at Cash Wise foods.  To those ingredients, I added some garden-fresh tomatoes, homemade croutons, and a really quick homemade dressing.  All it contained was red wine vingear, coarse-ground dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  I thought it was pretty good but Katelyn thought it a bit bland.  I probably should have jazzed up the dressing a bit more with some garlic and some herbs perhaps.  Here’s what it looked like:

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I then made the Eggplant Parmesan.  This is not so much a recipe as it is a process-all I did was the classic breading procedure that can be used for everything from vegetables to meat.  All I did was slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices, dredge them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, coat them with an egg wash, and then dredge them in a mixture of Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  It was then straight into a saute pan with about 1/4 inch of oil.  Pan fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides.  Then, I put on a little bit of Balsamic Tomato Sauce and some mozzarella cheese and put it underneath the broiler for melting.  Here’s what it looked like:

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It was pretty good for the most part.  The eggplant was slightly bitter-I should have salted the eggplant before cooking.  That is, I should have sprinkled the slices with Kosher salt and let them sit out on a wire rack for about 1/2 an hour.  Then a quick rinse.  This will draw out some of the bitterness of eggplant.  Everything else about it was solid; just not spectacular.  The breading was crisp with almost a nutty taste from the fried cheese in the breading.  The sauce was flavorful.  Maybe I just needed to use more of that.  As it was plated, I guess I used a minimalist approach to everything. 

For dessert, it was strawberry shortcake.  As it was sort of a weak dish, I’m not going to share the recipe but I’ll just say I’m not fond of The Joy of Cooking’s shortcake recipe and I failed to see any great benefit to macerating strawberries in red wine and sugar.  But, maybe I just did things wrong.  Here’s what the final product looked like:

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Maybe Katelyn liked it:

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One Comment

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  1. Katelyn / Aug 31 2007 11:03 am

    wow, what a fun night!!

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