Monday, April 7, 2008

Edplant Parmesan

This has been sitting, unfinished in my post list for over two months now...WTF, Iko? Finish what you started, right? Anyway, I haven't posted a recipe in a while, so I though I'd put this one up (referenced here, with most of the same pictures), in honor of "The Office" coming back this week and the delightful Ed Helms gracing us with his presence on the small screen once again.


For the Eggplant:
2 large eggplants (heavy for their size, otherwise they'll be all seedy and bitter)
three large eggs, beaten
bread crumbs (store bought are fine, or make your own)
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil

To Finish
Marinara sauce (recipe follows, or use jarred - but GOOD jarred, not Ragu...sorry people who make Ragu)
1 large ball fresh mozzarella (not the dioxin contaminated one)
about 6 large fresh basil leaves
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

1. Peel eggplant if the skin is especially tough. I like to leave the skin on so people know what they're eating, but, if it doesn't taste good, it doesn't matter how pretty it looks. As you can clearly see in the picture - I peeled those mofos.
2. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
3. Coat the eggplant in the flour and shake off the excess. You know how to bread, things, right? Put the flour in a shallow dish, add more if you run out before you run out of eggplant...
4. Mix the beaten eggs with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, and dip the floured eggplant into this mixture.
5. Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, and Parmesan cheese together, place the floured and egg-ed eggplant into the breadcrumbs, and turn to coat evenly.
6. Add the breaded eggplant rounds to a large, preheated saute pan coated in a little olive oil. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick pan and some spray (like Pam) for a healthier option, but I like olive oil. A lot. Like more than a normal person. More than even abnormal people. I'm looking at you RayRay.
7. Once the eggplant has browned nicely on one side, flip over and brown the other side.
8. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan or plate or some other kind of flat object. Repeat steps 3 -7 with the remainder of the eggplant rounds.
9. Assemble the casserole by spreading a layer of sauce into a rectangular Pyrex or stoneware baking dish (I think mine was around 9" x 13"), covering that layer with the eggplant rounds cooked earlier, then laying half the mozzarella ball over the top of the eggplant. Next, sprinkle the mozzarella layer with some Parmesan cheese (maybe two tablespoons, really however much cheese you want) and tear about three or four basil leaves over that. Repeat the entire layering process one more time and cover the top with some more marinara sauce.
10. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for about 1/2 hour. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the cheese on the top browns a little bit and the rest of the casserole is bubbly and Yum-O.
11. Remove from the oven and let the casserole sit for 15 - 20 minutes to help it congeal and cool down, so you don't burn the roof of your mouth on the deliciousness.
12. Serve with garlic bread, salad (or sauteed broccoli rabe, as indicated in the menu for Ed's birthday and the picture below), wine, and a hefty dose of Ed Helms.


Probably makes 8 servings. I'm really bad at limiting myself to one serving, though. Also, this freezes really well and makes a delicious lunch to bring to work, because it's not too bad microwaved, either.

Marinara Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine
1 large can (28-oz) chopped tomatoes, preferable San Marzano
2 tbsp chopped, fresh basil
salt and pepper


1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a sauce pan.
2. Add the onion and cook until very soft and translucent, but not browned. A little bit browned is OK, but don't burn those mofos.
3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 - 2 minutes more.
4. Add the red wine and reduce, probably around 3 or 4 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
6. Let this mixture simmer for about 25 minutes.
7. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. You can add some sugar here, too, if you prefer the sweeter sauces, or your tomatoes are particularly acidic. I'm not such a fan of sugar in tomato sauce, but it's your food, you can do what you want.
8. Add the chopped fresh basil and stir.
9. Use for the Edplant Parmesan recipe or refrigerate or freeze for later.


EdT said...

Is that THE Pam in the background of pic number 1? BAD PAM! BAD!!!!

iko said...

Ha! Sharp eye, EdT! I shall henceforth inform people I call it EdPlant Parm because of you. I promise I didn't use it in the recipe, though, I like EVOO like RayRay!

EdT said...

I now heart the Edplant Parm.

Beth said...

Yay! Ed hearts the Parm! I'm gonna make him some, yum yum yum.