Friday, June 3, 2011

eggplant parmesan.

this week's recipe* came as a suggestion from my sister-with-the-babies. she assured me it would be quick, simple, and delicious. also, an excuse to try a new vegetable: eggplant.

 eggplants: way easier to slice than rutabagas.**

the recipe i used called for 6 steps, which initially made me question my sister's claims of simplicity. they wanted me to:
1. sweat the eggplant 
2. shred the cheese
3. prepare the coating for breading
4. bread the eggplant
5. fry the eggplant
6. assemble and bake the eggplant parmesan

but that all seemed a bit excessive to me. so i salted the eggplant, but did not a) let it sit for a half an hour in a colander, b) press it between two heavy cutting boards, or c) dry it with a paper towel to "sweat" it. step one: all but eliminated.

i bought my cheese pre-shredded. BAM! another step bites the dust.

and i just have to say that i think it is ridiculous to make "bread the eggplant" into two steps. combine those suckers and cross one more step off the list.

so if you're counting, we're down to a way more manageable 3 steps now:
1. slice and bread the eggplant. - you could probably make your own breadcrumbs for this, but i used store-bought breadcrumbs this time instead.

 did you know that eggplants arent purple on the inside too? a little disappointing.

2. fry the eggplant.

just check out that awesome golden-brown action!

3. assemble and bake the eggplant.- i am told that you can also speed this up by broiling the eggplant on a cookie sheet, but i actually followed the directions on this one. i am also told that you could make your own sauce, but to that i say ppbbbtt... why bother when you have perfectly good jarsauce?
  and that's all there is to it! i think it turned out pretty well. dont you agree?

this is definately best when eaten fresh, but also reheats reasonably well. in hindsight i probably could have served it over pasta, but that slipped my mind in the heat of the moment. and did i mention that it's SO good? kind of like fried zuchinni crossed with chicken parm. and i have to assume that its at least a little bit good for you since its mostly just vegetables*** ...fried in oil... and topped with two types of cheese... mmmm... health food...

*just in case you were wondering, last week's recipe was a chicken-broccoli-pesto-pasta concoction from Men's Health magazine (thanks Dana!) that was simple, tasty, made a TON of leftovers. i think we actually just finished off the last of it today! also, apparently it was not overly photogenic, because i neglected to document the process.

**please ignore the packing tape in the background of the pictures. it did not contribute in any way to the preparation of this meal. i swear.

*** there is some debate on the internets as to whether or not eggplants and tomatoes are vegetables or fruits. i dont care what the crazy botanists say, they've always been veggies to me.

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