Day 161: Eggplant Parmigiana ♥

If there were ever the right time to encourage foodie families to publish their own cookbooks, this is it.
  • The adventurous StephenCooks has been cooking up a family favorite, peroghies, with my Canadian grandmother's recipe. Nana made kazillions of these fruit dumplings over the years. We'd vie for them at weekend dinners at the aunts' and cousin gatherings at the cottage. Today there are only a couple of us who make peroghies but the recipe is recorded for future generations of cooks in our family cookbook.
  • And this week's column over at Kitchen Parade features a kid-favorite cookie recipe from my cousin Laura. We e-mail and talk on the phone. But still, if it weren't for the cookbook? I would have NO idea how delicious Fat Rascals could be.
  • And last night, I cooked a delicious cauliflower casserole from my cousin Sharon, another dish I'd have missed if it weren't for the cookbook.
  • And much by accident, the inspiration for tonight's Eggplant Parmigiana comes from my cousin Lynda. Yep: another cookbook entry.
So yes, I encourage you to share your best recipes. There's lots of software to organize a project, even if yours, like ours, had contributors from all over the world. We used a Web-based application from Walter's Publishing (2007 Update: Walter's no longer publishes cookbooks). And while I haven't used it yet, I'm impressed by the set-up over at Heritage Cookbook.

OH: tonight's eggplant? DELICIOUS. Thank you, family, for all the great recipes. I've not found a loser yet! (For other recipes from friends and family, check out Credit Where Credit's Due in A Veggie Venture's Recipe Box.)

EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Makes 4 generous entree servings



1 egg, beaten
about 2/3 cup panko (or bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon bacon grease (or other fat)
1 eggplant, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (Lynda peels before slicing)

3 cups slow-roasted tomatoes and garlic (or see ALANNA's TIPS for an alternative)
8 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

2 1/2 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese (Lynda uses 8 ounces mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan -- OH MY I just this second realized that if you zap the Parmesan, you're no longer making Eggplant Parmesan ... so what IS this I've made?!)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the egg in a large bowl. Combine the panko and salt in another. Line the bowls up next to the stove.

Melt about half the bacon grease in a large skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Working in batches, dip each slice of eggplant first in the egg, then the panko, then add to the skillet and cook until crispy and beginning to brown. After the eggplant is done, if there is un-used panko, transfer it to the skillet to lightly brown.

Grease a quiche pan with cooking spray. Arrange about 1/4 cup of the slow-roasted tomato on the bottom, then a layer of eggplant slices on top, then about 1/2 the green onion and the roasted garlic. Arrange about half the remaining tomato on the eggplant, then top with another layer of eggplant. Top with remaining tomato and then remaining green onion.

Bake for 25 - 35 minutes (the recipe says 25 minutes but tonight's version, starting with cold slow-roasted tomatoes, took 35; the eggplant should be not only heated through but steaming hot). Top with the cheese and leftover browned bread crumbs. Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is beginning to soften and melt.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 374 Cal (45% from Fat, 13% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 13 g Protein; 20 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 42 g Carb; 10 g Fiber; 83 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 755 mg Sodium; 70 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 8 points

ALANNA's TIPS
  • Alternative sauce: Saute 1/2 an onion and a clove of garlic. Stir in a 15-ounce can of tomatoes, about 4 ounces of tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add a 1/2 teaspoon of basil or oregano.
  • I found it frustrating to wait for the eggplant to get crispy. I could have -- but didn't want to -- add more fat. Next time I'll either use two skillets to speed up this step or relax with a glass of wine.

2 comments:

Bacon grease for a vegetarian recipe?

A Veggie Venture is about vegetables but is not strictly vegetarian. For an explanation, please see note to vegetarians.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna