Since yesterday’s post featured Kerri’s signature dish, I figured today would be a good day to share mine with you.
Growing up, my favorite dish was my mother’s Eggplant Parmesan. She didn’t make it very often, but every time she did it was amazing! So when I moved out and got my own place I figured out how to make it for myself. And I must say mine definitely gives Mom’s a run for its money!
I like to add fresh spinach to my Eggplant Parmesan and I use coconut oil to fry the eggplant in, since it’s better for you. (Read more about the benefits of coconut oil here: In My Kitchen: Coconut Oil.)
WHAT YOU NEED:
– 2 jars of Marinara Sauce
– 3 cups of Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
– 5 oz. of fresh Spinach (about 1/2 a bag)
– 2 Eggplants, peeled and sliced
For the Breading:
– 2 cups Italian Style Bread Crumbs
– 1 cup White Wheat Flour
– 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
– 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
– A generous dash of Garlic Powder
– 2 Eggs
– 1/2 cup of Milk
– Ground Black Pepper
– Coconut Oil, enough for frying
**This recipe produces a large amount of Eggplant Parmesan. More than likely, you will have enough to make two trays of it.
The night before you plan to make this dish, peel and thinly slice the eggplant. Place in a large bowl.
Sprinkle a little salt over the eggplant.
Fill bowl with water and let eggplant soak overnight in the fridge. (Soaking the eggplant the night before helps to cut some of its acidity, which helps to reduce heartburn after eating it. It’s a little trick my Mom taught me.)
The next day, gather ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, milk and a dash of black pepper.
Stir ingredients together and set bowl aside.
In another large mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, flour, grated Parmesan, Italian Seasoning, 4 dashes of black pepper and garlic powder.
Stir ingredients together and also set this bowl aside.
Heat frying skillet to 350 degrees and add enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Once the oil is hot, begin breading the eggplant for frying.
To bread, dip the eggplant in the egg mixture and coat well.
Then place the coated eggplant in the bread crumb mixture, also coat well.
Place the breaded eggplant on frying skillet. (While eggplant is cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.)
Fry both sides of the eggplant evenly, until golden brown.
Place the cooked eggplant on plate covered with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Grab a large, shallow baking pan (or two) and begin to assemble the Eggplant Parmesan.
First, pour a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Spread evenly.
Next, add a layer of the fried eggplant.
Then add a generous layer of fresh spinach.
Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the spinach.
After that, pour a generous amount of marinara sauce on top of the spinach and cheese. Make sure its spread evenly and covers the other ingredients.
Repeat layers until the ingredients are gone.
Make sure to the top the dish off with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan.
After the dish is assembled, place in the oven.
Cook at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve the eggplant with a fresh salad, garlic bread and a glass of wine and you’ve got yourself a fine Italian feast!
I hope you all enjoyed my go-to recipe. We shared our signature dishes with you…now share yours with us! We’d love to hear about your culinary masterpieces and feature them on our blog.
In keeping with the Italian theme, Ciao!