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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meatless Monday Presents: Eggplant Parmesan

This is my first attempt at eggplant parmesan.  I had one word for my lovely Wifey when she presented the idea of "Meatless Monday," WHY?  I quickly understood as she explained to me the benefits of this idea.  The health benefits of doing this is easy for me to wrap my head around, but the environmental benefits were a little more confusing...  Think about it for a minute and it makes sense. By eating less meat, we are eating lower on the food chain, ultimately reducing the amount of energy consumed in the process of manufacturing food. I would explain it in more detail, but I don't have all day here people!  Back to the kitchen and eggplant environment-saving parm.  What one will need for this adventure:




eggplant - one big fella
mushrooms
mozzarella - fresh
Parmesan
onion
diced tomatoes - 2 cans
tomato sauce - 1 can
garlic
flour
bread crumbs
eggs - 2
salt
pepper
basil
oregano
butter
sugar
olive oil
pasta

First, we have to get the sauce going because the longer it cooks the better!  Melt about a half a stick of butter and some chopped garlic and mushrooms.  I let it saute for about 10 mins then added some chopped onion, basil and oregano.



I gave the onions about 7 to 10 mins to cook, then added the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar.  If you had some red wine layin' around you could toss some of that in too.   Let everything get nice and hot then reduce heat and simmer for as long as you can.  I continue to stir, tasting as I go.  I think tasting the sauce is one of the most important parts of this journey.  Now on to the eggplant.


    

You can see above that the eggplant has been sliced and is awaiting its pilgrimage to the hot oil in that skillet.  First, it gets dredged in flour then a nice dip in the battered egg on to the breadcrumbs and finally the pan!  The pan should be hot, allowing the eggplant to get nice and crispy.


 
Next, you will want to get a baking pan ready.  Also, slice some mozzarella and grate some parm.  Take some sauce and cover the bottom of the pan.  Add the crispy eggplant, top with the mozz, add some more sauce and top with the parm!


Preheat the oven to 350 and slide that pan in.   Set the timer for 30 mins or so and get movin' on the pasta.  We enjoy angle hair pasta but any will work. Also, I believe that one should celebrate the close of a Monday.  A good bottle of Chianti is a wonderful match. 

When everything is done, put it on a plate and eat it!  Meatless Mondays - saving the environment one meal at a time...  

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