Friday, August 6, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I vow to eat lighter meal from now on and pretend I don't see three luggages still full of Indonesian snacks...

Sigh, you don't know how hard it is to resist the temptation of not eating those snacks, and my other half doesn't help either.  He insisted that we have to finish all of those soon, very soon, or otherwise they'll go bad and we'll be sorry that we hauled all sixty-four kilos worth of food--delicious, hard to find food-- back home.  Sixty-four kilos?  Excuse me, my books were counted in that sixty-four kilos, so I believe it's less than that.

My diet is now consisted of fruits, lots of them, and vegetables.  I drink tons of water and try to diligently do my exercises, do some biking with my son, and tackle the unruly yard.  By staying active I believe I could lose the weight and then start my baking routine again :)  A bowl of fruits in the morning will welcome the beginning of my day, and it helps that summer fruits are varied right now so I don't get bored.

You know, when I was in Indonesia, the first three weeks of eating local food seemed exciting.  But soon, the appeal wore off and I longed for a dish of spaghetti marinara, which I actually ordered when I was staying at The Phoenix Hotel, Yogyakarta.  And it tasted pretty good, very generous in size, and not too expensive.  Italian food is my other comfort food so naturally when I got my latest Cook's Country magazine which featured eggplant parmesan recipe, I decided to make it.

What I like about this dish is that by combining Parmesan cheese with panko breadcrumb resulted in much flavorful crust for the eggplant, it's crusty and tangy.  And chopped eggplants in the sauce is just a boost to the dish, the sauce tastes even better the second day; all the flavor has mingled together, garlicky good.  Have a try!

Eggplant Parmesan For Two

Serves 2

1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Slice off one side of eggplant and cut two 3/4-inch planks lengthwise from center of eggplant.   Halve each plank crosswise, and cut reserved side pieces into strips, then chop into 1/2-inch cubes.

Place flour in a shallow dish.  Beat egg in a second shallow dish.  Combine bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a third shallow dish.

One at a time, coat eggplant slices lightly with flour, dip them in egg, and dredge in bread-crumb mixture, pressing to adhere.  Transfer to a wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet and let sit for 5 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Heat 1/2 cup oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-hight heat until shimmering.  Cook eggplant slices until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side.  Transfer to wire rack set inside baking sheet and bake until eggplant is tender and deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Pour off oil and wipe out skillet with paper towels.  Heat 2 tablespoon oil in empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add chopped eggplant and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining oil, garlic, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer until eggplant is tender and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper; cover and keep warm.

Combine remaining Parmesan and provolone or mozzarella in medium bowl.  Top browned eggplant slices with cheese mixture and bake until cheese is melted.  Transfer half of the sauce to platter and top with eggplant slices.  Spoon remaining sauce over eggplant.  Serve.

Source:  adapted from Cook's Country, August-September 2010


  1. You miss spaghetti marinara while you were in Asia? :P hahahha.....

    Thanks for your well-wishes on my book :D

    haha...well, I couldn't help it! my stomach revolted after eating so many local foods :)

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