Eggplant Parmesan

For the past week I have been so excited about my birthday meal that I was drooling before I even walked into my parent’s house yesterday.  I chose one of my most favorite dishes, Eggplant Parmesan.  It is simply divine and I hardly ever get the chance to eat it.  My mom and I cooked it for 8 people, with tons of extra, so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller dinner party.

Ingredients:
2 eggplants, large
salt
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1 tbs cold water
4 cups of Italian style bread crumbs (Progresso)
olive oil for frying
about 4 jars of pasta sauce (we used homemade sauce)
2 cups of Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Sprinkle generously with salt on both sides of the rounds.  This helps to draw out some of the moisture as well as the bitterness that eggplant can have.  Let the salt sit on the rounds for about 30 minutes until they begin to sweat.  Wash and pat dry.

Next, beat the eggs and water with a fork.  Put the flour into a plastic bag, and the bread crumbs in a bowl.  Heat about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of olive oil in a skillet to fry.  Create an assembly line: flour bag, eggs, bread crumbs, fry pan, drying rack with paper towels.

Put about 3 rounds of eggplant in the flour bag and give it a good shake to coat.

Tap off extra flour and put it into the egg bowl.  Coat with eggs and shake off any extra drips.  If it’s coated in too much egg the bread crumbs won’t stick.

Next into the bread crumbs.  Pat on the mixture so it sticks.  Carefully place it in the oil.

It should immediately start to bubble in the oil.  If it doesn’t the oil is too cold and the eggplant will suck up all the oil making it very greasy.

Flip the rounds over once the first side has lightly browned.  Remove from the oil once both sides are golden brown and drain on paper towels on a rack.

Take a baking dish (we used a 15 x 9) and pour some sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread around.  Layer the eggplant on top, followed by sauce, cheese, and more eggplant.  Repeat at least 3 times for the layered look.

Finish with cheese on top and cover with tin foil.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and bake another 30 minutes.

Delicious!  Serve with salad and bread.  Now time for my birthday dessert!  Fruit Tart

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