Friday, August 19, 2011

Frugal Fridays: Fried and Fabulous Eggplant Parmesan

My husband has never insisted that I blog about something before. After eating my version of eggplant parmesan, he was absolutely adamant that I share this recipe.  For my part, I’m thrilled it turned out well, considering I had absolutely no plan other than to use up the stuff in my CSA basket. Here’s what I had to work with:
  • 7 small graffiti eggplants
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 beets
  • lots and lots of eggs -- we get an egg share but we haven’t been eating many lately
  • basil

Pretty random, right? But I have a decently stocked pantry so I decided to make some kind of eggplant parmesan. I’ve always baked, broiled, or grilled my eggplant in the past, but this time I thought, what the heck, let me fry it up and see what happens.
What happens is the cook loses an eyebrow, but the food turns out delicious. 
One Dish Eggplant Parmesan
For the fried eggplant:
  • 6-8 small graffiti eggplant, cut into medallions
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 eggs + 1 tbs milk, mixed and seasoned with pepper
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs 
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Take out 3 bowls, and create a breading assembly line. The first should be flour, the second should be the eggs, and the third should be the Panko mixed with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  2. Dip the eggplant in the flour, then the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumb mixture.
3. In a large saute pan, pour in enough canola or vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. 4. Heat the oil on MEDIUM heat. Oil that is boiling hot pops and sprays. Everywhere. Including my eyebrow. 
5. Toss the coated eggplant into the saute pan and fry for about 4 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy. Set on a paper towel on a plate.
For the pasta: 
12-16 oz dry pasta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside 1/2 cup of cooking water to help thicken the sauce.
2. Drain pasta (minus the 1/2 cup cooking water).
3. Add 3/4 cup cheese to the pasta and mix until mostly melted
4. Add the cherry tomatoes.  The hot pasta will slightly cook them until tender and sweet.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put Everything Together:
1. Spoon the pasta into a large serving bowl
2. Add the fried eggplant and mix together gently
3. Top with 1/4 cup grated parmesan and chopped basil
Oh wait. I forgot to mention the beets, didn’t I?  I boiled and peeled them. That’s it. And guess what? My kids both turned their noses up at the eggplant, but devoured boiled beets. Who knew?

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At August 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Cami said...

Eggplant is my FAV!!! YUM YUM! :o)

You're making me hungry!

<3-Cami from First Day of My Life

At August 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

If you make it, come back and tell me how it turned out for you!

At August 20, 2011 at 8:57 AM , Blogger Heather Capewell said...

Oh that is just so yummy sounding. My kids love eggplant and i just typically fry it (absorbs less oil than shallow fry) and let them dip it in homemade ranch dressing, but your recipe really makes it a meal! Will try this as soon as I can get my hands on some eggplant. My plants didn't do so well this year.


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