May 15, 2012

Turning Italian


As a treat I decided to try and make a version of Eggplant Parmesan I had seen a few days ago on "Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn" tonight. I even made some homemade tomato sauce that was simple and delicious! Tonight's meal was such a big hit I thought I would share it with ya'll!

Tomato Sauce (adapted from Cuisine Magazine)
Yield: ~5 cups

  • Ingredients
    • 4 lbs of roma tomatoes, quartered
    • 1 onion, chopped (I used yellow)
    • 4 cloves of garlic (I have the kind in the squeeze bottle so I used 4 tsp. of that)
    • 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp. of sugar
    • 2 tsp of salt
    • 1/2 cup of olive oil
    • Seasoning (the recipe said fresh basil, I didn't even have dried basil so I just used some dried oregano and it was still delicious so just use what you like).
  • Directions
    • Preheat the oven to 450 F
    • In a large dish (I used a dutch oven, but anything would do. I don't recommend metal though since the acidity of the dish might cause damage to the metal.) combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and olive oil. Toss it like a salad to make sure the olive oil coats everything.
    • Roast in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes until tomatoes are soft (I had mine covered the whole time and it came out pretty soupy. I think when I do it again I will uncover it for the last half or third to help thicken it up.)
    • When done roasting, mash it all up with a potato masher keeping it somewhat chunky. And then season to how you like it. Easy right?
Eggplant Parmesan Stacks (adapted from "Mad Hungry")
Yield: ~12 stacks
  • Ingredients:
    • 3 Eggplants (cut into twelve 1/3 inch slices each, 36 total)
    • Tomato sauce
    • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    • Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft's "fresh")
    • Mozzarella (I used shredded)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and Pepper
  • Directions
    • Brush both sides of the slices with some olive oil and then season one side with some salt.
    • Grill eggplant for 8-10 minutes flipping only once. (I used our outdoor grill but a grill pan would do the trick or a fry pan for that matter).
    • While grilling mix together breadcrumbs, parmesan and a splash of olive oil (about a tablespoon) together (2:1 ratio). I used about 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of parmesan but probably could have used a little more. If you have extra pop it in the fridge and you can used it with some chicken. 
    • Once grilled it's time to assemble the stacks. Lay 12 slices down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add a spoonful of the breadcrumb mixture, a spoonful of tomato sauce and some mozzarella. Add another slice of eggplant and repeat. Do that one more time. 
    • Carefully but the sheet of stacks in a 350 F oven and bake for 20 minutes till the cheese melts. When done season with some pepper (optional) and serve. You won't be disappointed!
If you try this let me know what you think! Happy eating!