I just had the flu.
It was awful.That, ladies and gents, is how you make eggplant parmesan.
After spending an entire week in bed eating nothing but saltine crackers and the occasional bit of soup, I finally emerged from my room last monday to become a functional human being again.
Of course, when my appetite finally came back, I was craving my ultimate comfort food... spaghetti (the word which caused me to lose the 3rd grade spelling bee).
On my first night eating food again, I started with plain spaghetti, butter, and parmesan cheese. There are few things as satisfying for me as that.
Then, I decided to get a bit more creative. I bought a new food processor! And with it, I made homemade pesto. This led to a few nights of really enjoying spaghetti with pesto sauce. Once again, very satisfying and very simple.
However, my favourite food in the world happens to be raspberry tart, so I decided it was time for me to invest in a tart pan and bake some tart. I made a tart and invited all of my friends over to eat it (if someone else didn't eat it, I would eat the whole thing, and that would just not be ok). Everyone seemed to enjoy the tart, which was pretty gratifying!
As you can see, liz was pretty excited to try some tart:
Our next culinary adventure of the week was eggplant parmesan. Liz is italian, and she knows her italian food. She even has uncles in philadelphia who own an italian restaurant. In other words, she's legit. Tonight she taught me how to make eggplant parmesan. It was amazing! And, it was surprisingly easy. First we chopped up our eggplant into fairly thin slices. Then we dipped it in egg batter, then breadcrumbs, then egg batter again, then breadcrumbs again. We don't mess around with our breading.
After that, we fried the battered and breadcrumbed eggplant slices in a pan with some olive oil.
You want to fry them until they are lovely and crispy and golden!
After that, the key is to eliminate some of the grease from frying by draining the fried eggplants in a paper towel in a bowl!
Then, we spread a thin layer of spicy tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. The fried eggplants went in a layer over the tomato sauce. After that, we covered this layer of eggplant with shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese. A layer of tomato sauce went over this. Then, we repeated the process. Another layer of fried eggplants went on top of the first, then another layer of tomato sauce. Before adding another layer of cheese, this concoction was covered in foil and put into the oven (which had been preheated to 350 degrees). We then baked it for around 30 minutes. We used a pretty small pan, so if you're using a larger pan, you may want to bake it for closer to 45 minutes. After taking the eggplant parmesan out of the oven, we added another layer of parmesan and mozzarella. The foil was added over the top again and it was baked again for 5 minutes (or until the cheese melts). The foil was then removed and it was baked sans foil until the cheese turned golden brown (once again, about 5 minutes). After removing the dish, we let it sit for about 20 minutes until we ate it.
Here's the thing. I have never been a fan of eggplant in any form or fashion. I LOVED this. It was so ridiculously good. I never thought I could appreciate eggplant this much.Our eggplant parmesan was a work of art. Not only did it taste amazing, but it also looked rather wonderful.
On a completely unrelated to food note, I went back to bikram yoga today for the first time in a few months. It was amazing. I had been having some shoulder problems from my extensive viola playing, and just the one bikram class made them go away. I truly believe that there is not much that is better for you than doing bikram yoga. I think I'll start going back regularly. Here's to a healthier lifestyle! (Mind you, eggplant parmesan is not adding to said healthier lifestyle)
Eggplant recipe was courtesy of miss Elizabeth Sutphen.
Raspberry tart recipe was from Gourmet magazine.