It’s been about a year and a half here in US for me and since then, was savoring food from various cuisines..! As it’s known, cooking is a never ending thing… something which goes out for a life time. This is one subject which needs lot of creativity and experimenting. So.., let’s grab more varieties from several cuisines for not getting bored of this subject 🙂
I happened to visit Olive Garden few months ago on our first Wedding Anniversary, which, I forgot to mention, is an Italian cuisine. Me being an Eggetarian, I usually find very very few dishes comfortable on the menu card in any restaurant I visit here in US and so, I was prepared to have some Pasta. But then.., I have noticed this ‘Eggplant Parmesan’ on the menu and learned there wasn’t any meat in it and thought I should give it a try. The dish surprised me with some luring flavors in it. Since then, I have been trying out few Italian dishes when I visit restaurants and believe me.., Italian dishes are to die for! Indian Brinjals are definitely not available here at my place but the Eggplants do. I wanted to bring this recipe into my kitchen for sure and here it comes for you too.
Marinara Sauce(or any other Pasta Sauce would go well) as required
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
salt as needed
The way I cooked:
1. Cut the Eggplant into round discs not very thin. Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle some salt(Kosher Salt if possible where as I have used regular salt) over them and leave them for an hour.
2. Tap a paper towel hard on each Eggplant disc to remove the oozed out moisture. Take the beaten eggs bowl, a bowl with flour and a bowl with the dry breadcrumbs ready.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a fry pan and on the other side, take the Eggplant slice dip it in the egg mixture, then place it in the flour, coat both the sides of the slice with flour and then coat both the sides with the breadcrumbs, finish it by dipping in the egg mixture again in the same way. Place it in the pan and fry both the sides until golden brown.
4. Repeat the above step with few more slices and line them in the baking tray. When you finish with one layer of these slices, spread the Marinara Sauce covering all the slices.
5. Spread and cover the slices with both Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese(I have used pepper jack slices here). You can always alter the quantity of cheese in this dish.. the more.. the tastier 🙂 I have used less than that I have mention above in the ingredients. It was still tasty! Top of the cheese, goes the second batch of coated and fried Eggplant slices as mentioned in step 3.
6. Preheat oven at 350°F. Repeat step 4, 5 for the second layer of slices. When done, place the baking tray in the oven and let them cook for around 15 mins or until the cheese is melted and the top has turned slightly brown. I have ended the top coating with Marinara sauce again so that the cheese would not burn out by any chance.
7. Allow it to rest for 5 mins and serve warm. These quantity would serve 2.