Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Blissful Marriage of Eggplant and Cheese.

A couple of weekends ago, a girlfriend and I went to see a matinee of Sex and the City II. Guilty pleasure you could call it (I loved the series). Anyway, prior to the show we grabbed some grub to go from Buca di Beppo. I happen to think they do a fantastic eggplant parmesan and I thought to myself, "Self, have you ever made eggplant parmesan before?". I couldn't recall if I had taken on that challenge, so this week I took it on. The eggplant, cheese, tomatoes and I duked it out in the culinary ring, so to speak.

I did a little research online and pulled up a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan from Epicurious. With a rating of 4 forks, I had to give it a go. Mind you, I did not cook for 8 people, I cut the recipe in half and managed to put away several servings in my freezer. Not too sure how well it will hold up but I will find out soon friends.

All I can say about this recipe is LABOR INTENSIVE. This is not a recipe you just pull out of your hat on a weeknight (of course I made it on a weeknight, but that doesn't mean everyone will want to make this on a weeknight). It definitely required patience and time, but it was well worth the hard work and the wait! The eggplant slices were battered with a 3 step process: flour, egg and panko bread crumbs (which were seasoned with a little grated parmesan). I think the panko bread crumbs really took it a whole other level too. The sauce was simple - peeled and pureed roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, red chile pepper flakes and torn up fresh basil - simmered for about half an hour. The only downside was that I should've made the entire batch of sauce instead of only making half a batch. There just wasn't enough sauce for my liking. Lesson learned. Next time, if there's plenty of leftover sauce, I'll just freeze it for pasta or another dish. Regardless this recipe is fantastic and is a great dish for entertaining, especially if you have any vegetarians over for dinner. I would serve it with a simple green salad and maybe some roasted garlic bread.

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