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How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
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Eggplant Parmesan is a tasty and popular dish found on menus everywhere. Making your own Eggplant Parmesan involves several steps, but it is so worth the effort!

Curiously enough, the eggplant is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. Even though it looks robust, the eggplant is fairly delicate.

Buy one that weighs about 8 ounces, and be sure to use it within a day or two of purchase. As it ages, it gets bitter and the skin gets tough.

Making Eggplant Parmesan is very similar to making Chicken Cutlets except – of course – that we are using eggplant instead of chicken.

There are six steps involved in making Eggplant Parmesan:

  1. Sweating the eggplant
  2. Shredding the cheese
  3. Preparing the coating for breading
  4. Breading the eggplant
  5. Frying the eggplant
  6. Assembling and baking the Eggplant parmesan

1. “Sweating” the Eggplant:

“Sweating” an eggplant means to get out any bitterness that may have developed by making it sweat.

Start by slicing an 8-ounce eggplant in slightly larger than ¼-inch thick slices.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, over all of the slices of eggplant, being sure to salt both sides. Set the salted, sliced eggplant into a colander and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

By then the eggplant should begin to sweat. (Notice the little droplets of moisture being extracted by the salt from the surface of the eggplant.)

Remove the eggplant from the colander, and place the slices on a paper towel. With a second paper towel, blot off all the excess moisture which has formed.

2. Shredding the Cheese:

While the eggplant is resting, get the cheeses grated. The (1/4 cup of) Parmesan should be finely grated.

And the (8 ounces of) mozzarella needs to get shredded.

3. Preparing the Coating fro Breading:

There are many different types of bread crumbs available at the grocery store, or you can make your own. The post script on the bottom of this page will explain which ones work best for this recipe.

Put the flour, egg, and bread crumbs into three separate flat, rimmed dishes.

Add 1 teaspoon of water to the egg and with a fork, beat the egg and water together.

If you set everything up in a row it will be easier to do this next step. Be sure to get a plate out for the breaded eggplant.

4. Breading the Eggplant

Put one slice of eggplant into the flour and coat both side with the flour.

A huge time saver is to put the flour in a plastic bag instead of just dipping it one-by-one in the rimmed dish.

The 10 slices of eggplant can all go into the bag at once. Gently shake the bag so that all the slices are coated with a fine dusting of flour.

Now, one-by-one, shake off the excess flour and place the slice of eggplant in the beaten egg.

Turn it over so that both sides get coated with the egg.

Now put the slice into the crumbs….

…and turn that over too.

Press some of the crumbs into the eggplant making sure it is completely coated. This is where an extra pair of hands would be great!

5. Frying the Eggplant:

Once the eggplant is all breaded, preheat your frying pan on medium high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil to the pan and let it get hot.

When you add the eggplant to the pan you should hear a serious sizzle! If you don’t, then the pan is not hot enough. Remove that one slice and let the pan heat up some more. Do not over crowd the pan.

Once the eggplant is golden brown, flip them and fry the other side. It will take about 4-5 minutes in total to brown both sides. FLIP THEM ONLY ONCE!

Place the eggplant on a plate that has been lined with a paper towel.

Before frying the second batch, clean the pan out with a paper towel and a pair of tongs.

Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of oil to the pan and…

…fry the remaining eggplant.

6. Assembling the Eggplant Parmesan:

This recipe requires 12 ounces of spaghetti sauce. You can make your own or buy a jar of your favorite sauce.

Spread the sauce in a baking dish…

…large enough to hold the eggplant in a single layer. (A little bit of overlapping is fine.)

Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese….

…and the parmesan cheese.

Bake the Eggplant Parmesan in a preheated 425º F ( = 220º C = gas mark 7- hot) oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce is bubbly.

Dinner’s ready!

P.S.

I tried several different types of breading for this recipe.

In the photo above, the bottom left shows an attempt to fry the eggplant without first “breading” it. Unbreaded eggplant is like a sponge. It will get very “greasy” done this way.

The top right was breaded with just egg and then flour. The texture, taste and appearance were all wrong on that one as well.

The remaining two were perfect! The bottom right (my favorite) was done with flour, egg and “panko” bread crumbs which made a very crunchy coating. The top left was made with flour, egg, and dry breadcrumbs which made a tasty and very traditional coating on the eggplant.

“Italian” rather than plain-flavor panko or dry crumbs add a nice flavor to the final dish.

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Fettuccine Alfredo

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Once you try this recipe, you will never buy pre-made Alfredo sauce again! It is totally decadent and off the charts delicious – full of so much flavor and richness that you totally need to spend extra time on the treadmill after eating this Fettuccine Alfredo!

To make Fettuccine Alfredo, you will first have to know how to cook the pasta. For a quick review, check out my “How to Cook Pasta” video.

In addition to the 1 pound (450g.) of dried fettuccine, the only other ingredients needed to make this recipe are:

    • 8 Tablespoons (113 g.) of unsalted butter
    • 1 cup (235 g.) of heavy cream
    • 1 cup (120 g.) of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions on the back of the package of pasta that you bought and be sure to add plenty of salt to the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, grate the parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese

…measure out the heavy cream and cut the butter into tablespoon size chunks (to make it easier to melt.)

When the pasta is cooked, pour it into a colander and let the water drain off.

While the pasta is draining, over low heat, melt the butter in the same pot you cooked the pasta in.

Return the drained pasta to the pot with the melted butter.

Add the cream….

…and the grated parmesan cheese.

Toss everything together over low heat until the pasta is coated with the cream, butter and the cheese.

Add some freshly ground pepper. (You can use white pepper if you have it but black pepper is fine to use as well.)

Give the Fettuccine Alfredo a taste to see if it needs salt. Some brands of Parmesan cheese are saltier than others, so give it a taste before automatically adding in the salt.

That’s it! Time to enjoy!

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Cod with Salsa

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
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Cod is a very mild tasting white fish. Salsa, particularly fruit salsas, add the perfect zing this delicate fish. Choose something like pineapple or mango peach. (The pineapple salsa I chose at my supermarket had a bit of a kick to it, whereas the mango peach salsa had a sweeter, more delicate flavor.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and, if you’re going to serve your fish with mashed potatoes or rice start cooking them immediately, then prepare the fish.

Rub about 2 teaspoons of butter in a baking dish large enough to hold ¾ pound of cod.

Place the cod in the baking dish.

Spoon 1 cup of your favorite salsa over the fish.

Bake the fish in a 350 degree oven about 25-30 minutes. With a fork, test to see if the fish is cooked; it should be totally white in color in the center of the cod. It is should not be clear (see-through) but opaque.

Serve the cod with rice and broccoli cooked in the microwave. This is an incredibly fast and healthy meal to serve for dinner tonight!

Enjoy!

P.S. For a great New England classic, check out my video on Baked Cod with a buttery bread crumb topping.

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