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SurferJoe46
05-12-2009, 07:41 PM
I made some Eggplant Parmigiana and here's my mother's own recipe. It's juicier than most other versions and I like this one a lot.

Here's the recipe....


Ingredients

* 2 big eggplants, washed and sliced about 3/16", crosswise, unpeeled

* 1 large can of crushed Italian plum tomatoes (fresh if you've got 'em)

* 2 lb mozzarella cheese - sliced about 1/4" thick

* 1 can tomato paste (use a GOOD brand like Contadina or Progresso - it makes a big difference - but don't use the plain brown label stuff!!!)

* 1 medium can of tomato sauce - unseasoned if possible, or Italian-style if necessary (again, no brown label)

* 1/2 of a small, yellow finely chopped onion - not too much!!! It'll make it too sweet.

* lots of garlic, smashed and finely chopped (I use a whole bulb for this size serving)

* olive oil as needed for cooking the onion/garlic and frying the sliced eggplant - I like the oil dripping off my elbows when I'm eating!

* some dried basil leaves

* Parmesan cheese, and a lot of Romano (the stinky feet cheese!)

* Italian-style bread crumbs

* 2-3 eggs for breading eggplant slices

* a few bay leaves

* did I mention lots of olive oil?

~~Procedure

Put eggplant slices in a large plate covered by plenty of salt for about 1 hour. Wash off the excess water/salt and dry the slices with a paper towel. There will be a lot of water removed this way!

~~Prepare a tomato sauce as follows.

Start the garlic in the olive oil first, (I suggest a cast iron deep frying pan, medium heat and at least 1/4 - 1/2 inch of oil) and after the garlic is somewhat translucent, add the onion and tomato paste and try to gently scorch the paste for a few minutes to give it a tangy taste. Be careful - it splatters and don't let it burn!!!!

Add the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, a few/couple of the bay leaves, a little black pepper, and add 2-6 bay leaves (COUNT THEM!!!) and simmer for about 20 minutes on very low heat. I like to shut the whole fire off and let it sit and then re-heat it a few times if time permits - it melds the flavors together this way better. You MAY need to add a 1/2 to 1-cup of water to make it more liquid.

Be sure to remove the COUNTED Bay leaves later or tell everyone that they are IN THERE! These never soften and can cause damage to the throat if swallowed! They are absolutely necessary for flavor!

~~~While the tomato sauce is simmering, fry the eggplant slices as follows.

In a cast iron (if possible) frying pan with inch of olive oil and medium heat. When the oil is hot, start frying the eggplant slices that have been alternately dipped into whipped egg and Italian-Style bread crumbs until they are nicely coated, a few at a time so that they do not overlap in the frying pan. Cook until golden, flipping once. Make sure they get somewhat soft!

Remove the eggplant slices and put them in a drainer so the excess oil can drain. Repeat until all the slices are cooked.


~ OR ~

I sometimes like to take the eggplant out as they are done being fried and place them in the baking pan(s) so I don't have to hold cooked eggplant on paper towels or in another dish until I need them. It works for me, but I like the olive oil like I said.

I also remove the dropped-off bread crumbs after each single batch of eggplant when they're removed and add those crumbs to the final dish when you are putting it together. They are good tasting and if not burned, add a lot of flavor to the dish.

~~~ Now, Build it!

To assemble the Parmigiana, start with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a glass (Pyrex) oven proof baking pan or casserole. Then proceed with a layer of eggplant with their edges slightly overlapped and no voids. Then add basil leaves and a scattered layer of sliced mozzarella.

Shake a generous amount of Romano and/or a mixture of it and Parmesan shredded cheese and continue alternating these layers until the eggplant is used up, and finish topping with tomato sauce, more mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350F (180C).

Serve really hot. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they taste even better the day after.

I actually like to use a couple of separate Pyrex trays as the centers of the glass pan won't get as hot as the outsides, so it might be cooler than you want. You need all that cheese to melt!

If you can cook the sauce a day or so before making the rest of the recipe, the sauce will get a lot better flavors as the ingredients merge and mix. If you have any sauce left over, it is great on spaghetti later on too. Save it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for next time.


I'm gonna let you guys in on the BEST garlic bread recipe in the world - but if you tell anyone else you're dead!

Take equal amounts of REAL or Hellman's mayonnaise (not KRAFT salad dressing or sandwich spread!!!) and some of that "Tub-style" margarine for a total of about 2/3 cup all together and mix them well with a whisk or a fork until they are really well blended. BUTTER WILL NOT WORK HERE!

Add some dried parsley flakes, some powdered garlic, some grated Parmesan cheese - and taste it to see if you have a garlic-y enough flavor. If not - add a little more garlic powder until you like it. Go easy the first time until you figure out how you like it later, stronger or weaker.

If you are brave and really love garlic, smash and finely chop a few bulbs of garlic and mix this into the mixture before you spread it on the bread. This can make the bread somewhat "hot", spice-wise! Be careful!

Diagonally slice either a baguette or a loaf of Italian bread and heavily spread this mixture on the insides of the pieces.


Here's the only option you need to worry about: Microwave or oven?

I like to stack the bread/mixture on end in short stacks and microwave them for about 3 minutes. If you use the oven, then try to "fan-open" the bread a little and let the broiler heat it nice and hot. You still MAY NEED to microwave it a little to make sure the mixture really melts into the bread.

IF YOU NEED TO MICROWAVE IT AFTER BAKING/BROILING - first, put a small cup of water on the microwave tray before you heat the bread, then leave it there as you heat the bread. This will keep the bread moist and can even re-moisten it to make it softer with all the heating/baking drying it out.

Be very sure to put the bread on something that you can decoratively serve it on and easily clean later - it will ooze this mixture all over and I like to serve the bread with the cooking plate under it so I can sop up the mixture with the hot bread.

You will absolutely pig-out on this bread!

Serve everything with a New Gamay, a Dago Red or a cheap PORT wine. It should be a sweet wine, and red!


Try it and tell me what youse guys think.

Renmoo
05-12-2009, 07:46 PM
n00b question:

What is 3/16"?

Misty
05-12-2009, 08:01 PM
n00b question:

What is 3/16"?
0.47 cm
Misty ;)

gary67
05-12-2009, 09:40 PM
Eggplant you turning vegetarian Joe?

Greg
06-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Love the sound of the eggplant recipe.

But have to disagree with your re the garlic bread...

* It should only ever be made with butter
* Fresh garlic is cumpulsory
* So is fresh chopped parsley
* A good suqeeze of lemon is vital
* It should only be done in an oven - never microwave
* The loaves should be wrapped in tin foil before baking in a pre-heated oven
* Be mindful not to overheat the bread

gary67
06-12-2009, 09:34 AM
Why disguise the flavour of the food with Garlic, I never use and never will use that foul herb. I like to taste my food not have the flavour blanketed out

kenj
06-12-2009, 10:17 AM
n00b question:

What is 3/16"?

It is 1/8" plus a smidgen.

or

5/32" plus a gnats whisker.


Pretty technical terms from way back!

Ken :lol:

gary67
06-12-2009, 10:41 AM
Three sixteenths of an inch as Ken said technical stuff

SurferJoe46
06-12-2009, 04:34 PM
Greg said:

Love the sound of the eggplant recipe.

But have to disagree with your re the garlic bread...

* It should only ever be made with butter
* Fresh garlic is cumpulsory
* So is fresh chopped parsley
* A good suqeeze of lemon is vital
* It should only be done in an oven - never microwave
* The loaves should be wrapped in tin foil before baking in a pre-heated oven
* Be mindful not to overheat the bread

Lemon goes in lemonade, not anything else. I dislike lemon or lime in anything that isn't a drink and so noted as to the dominant flavor (ie: lemon soda, lime soda). The only time I use lemon or orange or lime in cooking is to keep a fruit or vegetable from chemically oxidizing or darkening - avocados are a prime example as I don't like them turning brown in my guacamole. I never use them for a flavor-enhancement.

Actually, I like the bread baked in the oven too - but lately I've taken to the softer and gooshier texture of bread soaked in a greasy-garlicy-oily hot mixture.

Fresh parsley is great - but I am only using it for color, not a taste treat. And I use the powdered garlic to control the heat and flavor in the spread, not as a Cordon Bleu dish. Fresh garlic is great everywhere - even ice cream like we have here in the US - Garlic Ice Cream! Really! I would use it exclusively in the mixture, but .......................

I'm trying to find some blue hake here in SoCal. I know youse guys get it all the time (a national fish?), but it's hard to come by here in the US.

Greg
06-12-2009, 06:03 PM
Why disguise the flavour of the food with Garlic, I never use and never will use that foul herb. I like to taste my food not have the flavour blanketed outWhy? Because most people with a decent sense of taste know how much it enhances food.

I suppose your idea of gourmet food is overcooked boiled brisket and peas with instant Bisto gravy... Or when you're feeling really flash then do you put on your best suit and go to Macdonalds?

prefect
06-12-2009, 07:04 PM
It is 1/8" plus a smidgen.

or

5/32" plus a gnats whisker.


Pretty technical terms from way back!

Ken :lol:

Gnats whisker? Bugger me I was taught the term Gnats cock. Other engineering term is tight as a nuns.

prefect
06-12-2009, 07:11 PM
Jamus thing to remember because usa will never change to metric is one inch is 25.4mm I am sure you can do fractions from that.

SurferJoe46
06-12-2009, 07:14 PM
Jamus thing to remember because usa will never change to metric is one inch is 25.4mm I am sure you can do fractions from that.

Yeah - the Revolutionary War was all about something like that.

"No taxation without representation and a decent currency converter"

gary67
06-12-2009, 07:29 PM
Why? Because most people with a decent sense of taste know how much it enhances food.

I suppose your idea of gourmet food is overcooked boiled brisket and peas with instant Bisto gravy... Or when you're feeling really flash then do you put on your best suit and go to Macdonalds?

What a load of tosh it does nothing for the food except disguise the taste. I never go to Macshi& ever and nothing is ever overcooked in this house I have a step son who is an excellent cook and I like to think I am too. Garlic pooh no wonder the French/ Italians etc have to wear all that perfume to hide the garlic smell

SurferJoe46
06-12-2009, 07:56 PM
What a load of tosh it does nothing for the food except disguise the taste. I never go to Macshi& ever and nothing is ever overcooked in this house I have a step son who is an excellent cook and I like to think I am too. Garlic pooh no wonder the French/ Italians etc have to wear all that perfume to hide the garlic smell

C'mon, Gary - it is a matter of taste.

This is exactly why they make all those different paint colors too.

I like garlic - but it has no place in my oatmeal. It DOES go with every meat and the only national group that typically doesn't use garlic in their foods is the Americans.

You wouldn't want to be associated with THAT group - would you?

Greg
07-12-2009, 07:33 AM
no wonder the French/ Italians etc have to wear all that perfume to hide the garlic smellIgnorance or lack of taste must be bliss eh.

What about the Greeks - they probably use as much or more garlic than the French or Italians, but they have no perfume industry. Same goes for most Far Eastern countries. So you're talking through the wrong orifice.

I suppose you don't eat onions or shallots either? They're both in the same family of bulb vegetables. And in your determination not to appreciate what fine flavours they have, you're evidently unaware of the health benefits of these foods.

And you call yourself a good cook? In your case it probably means you know how to use a can opener.

Greg
07-12-2009, 07:48 AM
PS...

For your enlightenment Gary -

1. I'm an enthusiastic cook, and I've seldom come across a recipe for a savoury dish that doesn't include Garlic.

2. I eat out whenever I can, and any decent restaurant will usually make a lot of use of garlic.

3. Look at recipes from the world's top chefs, including those great chefs you see on TV - they all use garlic

4. If you and your partner and or party of people are eating the same meals with garlic, I can almost guarantee none of you will notice the odour of the garlic.

5.. There are several herbs which help neutralise the aroma of garlic on your breath from the food, eg parsley, basil, mint, chives etc.

prefect
07-12-2009, 07:59 AM
It could be an anti French thing, poms are like that.

R2x1
07-12-2009, 08:15 AM
"Re: I Cooked Today - - - - -"

I had yesterday raw.