Tuesday, July 3, 2012
As an avid home chef, it's a challenge to be away from our well-stocked kitchen in Los Angeles. The things I miss most? Our spices and knives. While we are living in Hawaii for half a year, I have had to get really creative with the foods we prepare and eat, gravitating toward more simple meals. All in all, that's not a bad thing. You can make a pretty decent meal with one chef's knife and some salt & pepper.
One simple dish we really enjoy is this baked eggplant parmesan. It is a cheesy, hearty, non-fried version of eggplant parmesan. Layers of eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella cheese bake into a lasagna-like meal that is enjoyed by both kids and adults. You can also make this meatier by adding ground beef or turkey into the sauce, but I think it's great as it is.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan (from Martha Stewart)
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Olive oil, for baking sheets
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
6 cups (48 ounces) chunky tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.