Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keeping Up with Resolutions

Simply remembering a New Year’s Resolution over a month later is a feat in itself for most people, so I’m not going to hide how impressed I am with myself that I am still resolving to learn how to cook and it's February 16th.
Every weekend I pick out a new recipe to try, from which I will make a grocery list with ingredients outside of my typical shopping list.  So far I’ve perfected a healthy chicken and bean chili, I have learned the proper way to tenderize chicken breasts, I have surprised myself by making a truly delectable Chicken Marsala, and most exciting to me, is that I tried my very first eggplant parmesean, and absolutely loved it. 

I researched how to choose a good eggplant from the store, how to slice it, how to salt it, and then I half followed, half created a recipe to make a delicious eggplant dish. 

Preparation is a little lengthy, but simple! I highly recommend this creative recipe for anyone that has the time (the eggplant has to sit for a half an hour before it bakes for an hour) for a simple, tasty dish. 
Also, eggplants are big.  One of these babies is going to feed my roommate and I for at least three days. College-student score!

You will need:
1 medium sized eggplant
6 ounces fresh mozzarella
8 ounces tomato sauce (I took the easy way out- Prego!)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
3 eggs
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon garlic salt

SO here’s what I did:
-Cut the stem off and slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices (our knives stink over here in the apartment, so my slices were less than uniform – but it didn’t make a difference.)
-        - Put the slices in a colander and set the colander on a plate.  Sprinkle salt all over the eggplant, toss, and let sit for a half an hour
-     Crack 3 eggs into a shallow bowl, whip
-          Combine breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and pepper into a different shallow bowl
-          Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large frying pan
-      -  Dip eggplant in egg batter, and then breadcrumbs
-       - Fry each piece for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown
-       - Place fried eggplant into a 13x9 inch baking dish (College Apartment living limited me again; I only had a square casserole dish and a small baking dish so I distributed across two dishes – still worked just fine!)
-      -  Cook pepper and onion in the same frying pan for about 5 minutes
-      -  Place peppers and onions over the eggplant, and then pour the sauce in the baking dish and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
-       - After 25 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and place sliced mozzarella on top.
-      -  Bake another 25-30 minutes.
-       - Cut, and Enjoy!!!!

I barely followed the original recipe for the eggplant parm bake that I found, so I was quite nervous with how my concoction would come out.  Much to my surprise, it was awesome. And therefore, I share.
I don’t like mushrooms, but my roommate suggested mushrooms might be really good in the bake as well.  Go wild!

Feel free to share with me any of your creative/simple recipes because as you know, I really am trying to learn how to cook! I’m hoping this resolution has me on my way to domesticity in no time ;) 


Laura said...

It looks delicious! I love eggplant parm!

stephanie said...

yum! eggplant parm is one of my favorites!!

Stephanie said...

I'm glad you have been so successful with learning how to cook. I've been trying the same thing and my recipes have come out good, but not great. I keep telling myself that it's only my first try. The next time I try a particular dish, it will be perfect - at least I hope so!

I've never tried eggplant but that actually looks really good!

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