Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Eggplant Parmesan Etc.

Tomato sauce is pretty essential to eggplant parmesan, but the recipe doesn't require nearly all of it. Prepare for leftovers. Make lasagna, or other pasta, use it as pizza sauce or on sandwiches.

Put all the ingredients into a pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Not listed is 2 dried hot peppers I crushed and threw in. There is no real secret to it. The only trick is to use a tall pot so it doesn't splash all over your kitchen. Seriously, this got everywhere. Once done, take the basil stems out, the remaining rind, and puree it until smooth. You can leave the chopped onion and garlic cloves if you want, but this isn't a texture sauce. I'd smooth it out.

To make eggplant parmesan, first slice, salt, and leave the pieces to sit for at least half an hour, can go overnight. Drain the liquid and roast the slices in olive oil for half an hour at 350, flipping halfway through. They will shrink to about half of their original thickness.

Layer sauce, then eggplant, then old cheddar & parmesan, then more sauce until all eggplant is used up. Bake for 35-45 minutes. I topped this with chunks of stilton blue cheese after 35 minutes and baked some more until they were melted.

The sauce still has that tomato zing to it, with a mild spice. Parmesan rinds give it a lot of extra flavour and body. This is a great sauce that I imagine I'll be using quite a bit in the next week, though it could be frozen for later too.

I'd never made this dish before, not sure I've even tasted it really. Most recipes online call for breading and frying of eggplant. Maybe that makes it better, but this tasted pretty good already. It likely has more to do with consistency. My version is a bit soft and saucy. Breadcrumbs would have soaked up some liquid. I cut the eggplant lengthwise, but I'm thinking circles might be a better choice as the skin can be tougher to cut through. It makes it messy to serve. Still, writing this post I've made myself hungry to taste it again. That's definitely a good sign.

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