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
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.
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 ;)