Monday, September 16, 2013

eggplant stacks

It has been a while. To my seven readers, including Mike, who eats all of the food posted on these pages, I am truly sorry.

I will give you the busy excuse, but I have been cooking, so I promise there will be lots of catching up to do. And I need to finish up my not-so-brief departure series on decorating my yet-to-exist apartment. Just a little preview for ya there.

One of the things I have been busy with was a visit from my parents. They were here a few weeks back and it was such a fun trip-I fed them well as expected (hit up some tacolicious & caffe baonecci in North Beach to name a few), took them to see the SF Giants, visited family in eastern CA and drank a lot of wine (duh.)

So this post, while delayed, is somewhat timely to come back with after their visit.

My parents have always been amazing cooks, but it never really occurred to me just how lucky I was to enjoy some of their great food until I had friends start to beg me to make it for them.

My parents make these eggplant "stacks"--sort of a simpler, deconstructed eggplant parm. Sometimes they use sauce, sometimes fresh tomatoes, but always breaded and fried eggplant & mozzarella.

Everyone who tries my parents' eggplant raves about it, which always mystified me. It's definitely not even top 20 of what I grew up eating and loving. And its so simple.

So I had to share, because I am spoiled. This is craveworthy recipe and I forget that sometimes...

eggplant stacks
1-2 medium sized eggplants, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 tomatoes, sliced, or tomato sauce (you can use mine here)
1/2 lb of mozzarella, freshly grated
a handful of fresh parsley or basil
1/4 cup olive oil (for frying)
a few tablespoons of olive oil for final dish
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
2 cups of breadcrumbs, seasoned
1 cup of AP flour--seasoned with s&p
salt and pepper for seasoning

preheat oven to 350
  • prep all ingredients first--peel and slice eggplant, slice tomatoes, grate cheese, etc
  • preheat pan with some of the oil on low-medium heat
  • begin an assembly line: a dish with the flour, the egg/milk in a bowl and then finally a dish with the breadcrumbs
  • start by coating eggplant in flour, then egg (fully submerged) then breadcrumbs-I like to press the breadcrumbs on with a fork so they really stick
  • place the fully coated eggplant stack in the preheated pan, and begin the process again with a new slice-the eggplant will absorb a lot of oil, so make sure add more as your cook
  • let the eggplant brown on each side, then drain on a paper towel
  • once all the slices are coated and fried, coat the bottom of an oven safe pan with olive oil (if using tomatoes instead of sauce) or coat with sauce
  • begin laying down the largest eggplant slices, then layer tomato or sauce, cheese, salt and pepper and basil or parsley
  • repeat until about 3-4 eggplant high, using smallest eggplant slices for the top 
  • top with remaining mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil
  • place in preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly (about 10-15 minutes)
I hope you love this family recipe!

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