Monday, April 12, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I once again had a lonely eggplant in my fridge. The last time I had an eggplant I baked it plain with sauce and spinach, topped with either ricotta or goat cheese on the side. It was absolutely delicious. I had more time around to actually make real eggplant parmesan, Fallon style that is. I can't always just stick to an original recipe because I always look for a healthier alternative if I'll be eating it. I know once my boyfriend comes home from Iraq he is expecting some eggplant parmesan from me. I'm not sure how I should make it because it will never compare to his grandma's recipe. Which I had tried during Christmas and it was so good! I warned him and he said something along the lines that he was sure it will taste good in a different way. I feel a little pressure on this task. I mean who wouldn't? I want him to love it! The recipe I share with you today basically came on a whim. I wanted it baked and then layered. I used panko bread crumbs with a mixture of almond flour. I've used almond flour for breading before, and everything has always turned out crunchy and nutty. My father walked in on me while I was starting to layer the baked eggplants with cheese and sauce. He actually flipped! He said it would lose its crunch. I was aware of this but I've seen plenty of people layer eggplant parmesan in a casserole dish. Let's just say he was surprised at how well it actually was and he said he didn't miss the texture from the crisp coating from the breading. You can still taste the baked breading deliciousness, with the marriage of the sauce! Yes I'm still using this brand of sauce because it is so damn good! I swear just like homemade.  

Baked Eggplant Parmesan By Fallon   
1 large eggplant
3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup almond meal
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
Oregano, salt, pepper
Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce
Fresh or skimmed mozzarella cheese (I used 6 slices)

Preheat the over to 425 degrees F. Get all the breading ingredients ready. Crack the eggs in a flat bowl and mix with a fork till incorporated, season with salt and pepper. In another flat bowl combine both the panko and almond flour with oregano, salt and pepper. Next have a baking sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. 

Slice the eggplant horizontally. This will allow for more coverage in the casserole dish and saves time. I kept the skin on, I figured more fiber. If you aren't a fan of skin, then peel it. Now start by dipping a slice of eggplant into the egg, making sure it is coated well, and to let any extra egg drip off before heading into the crumbs. Bread the eggplant well by pressing gently down into the dish. Then place onto baking sheet. Repeat till all eggplant has been coated. Place in oven. After 20 minutes flip the eggplant around to crisp the other side. After 15-20 minutes eggplant should be browned and perfectly crisp. If your oven cooks quickly, then please adjust the settings. Burnt eggplant is no bueno!

About to go into the oven.
While the eggplant is baking, make sure to have a casserole dish, sauce and cheese ready for layering. I took them out early so they wouldn't be as cold. Once the eggplant is done, let it cool off for about 10 minutes. Up the oven to 475 degrees F, so the cheese will melt, everything is warmed through, and the top becomes lightly brown and bubbly. In a casserole dish start by spraying it with olive oil and then spreading sauce on the bottom. Layer in the eggplant trying not to overlap. Then top with more sauce and 2 slices of cheese. Continue to repeat till you have 3 layers, maybe 4, and you top it off with the last layer being cheese!

This is the first layer.
Place in the oven for another 15 minutes or until perfectly bubbly and light brown on top. Serve right away either with a side of pasta or a nice hearty piece of bread for dipping!

Love brown cheese!
This was my messy serving! I was hungry ;)

This tasted better even the next day! Everything came together well and I actually had a clear shot of the layers. It shows the division of the eggplant and the nice coating of breading. 


PS: I'm slowly making some changes to my blog like the layout and colors. Trying to complete my recipe page and maybe some other pages as well. It may take some time but I just wanted to let you guys know. I'm always open for suggestions, tips, comment etc. on my blog. You guys read this for a reason and if there is something you'd like to see let me know! My email is listed on here so send me one if you have any advice. I definitely need it since I'm new to this blog thing! The beautiful header you see above was made by my friend Nidia. She is very creative and artsy when it comes to design and graphics. She surprised me one day with a few graphics for my blog. I was actually quite thrilled she randomly sent me these graphics because I knew it was time for a change! She will definitely be helping me out with some of the changes to the blog, and I just want to give credit where it is deserved! Thanks Nidia!


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Fallon, just popped in from My Fabulous Recipes. As soon as I saw cookbooks in that profile of yours I knew I had to visit.

Perfect timing, I'd say. I absolutely adore Eggplant Parmesan. Yours looks gorgeously satisfying:)

Thank you so much for sharing...

Stephanie said...

mm yum yum yum. this looks great. layering in a casserole dish is the way my grammy has always done it, and its absolute perfection. i hope the BF likes it!

Valen said...

Beautiful eggplant parm! I love it, it is a favorite of mine and I make it often.

Jennifer said...

Its been forever and a day since Ive had eggplant parm!!! Thank you for the inspiration and yum yum recipe!!

Angie's Recipes said...

Delicious cheesy eggplants! Absolutely gorgeous!

Katrina said...

Goodness that looks good! I'll make you any treat you want if you'll come make me dinner!

Fallon said...

Oooo Katrina that is a very good offer!!!

Robin Sue said...

I like the new look and colors Fallon! I never liked eggplant parn until I bacame an adult. I could kick myself for missing it all those years. Your layers are perfect!