Eggplant parmesan is one of Chef Matt's absolute favorite Italian dishes; he's crazy about it! He was the first one to introduce me to eggplant parmesan at the age of about 20. Before I met him, I had never even tried this tasty dish. When I first had it, truth be told, I couldn't see (or taste that is) what all the fuss was about. There was something about it that I wasn't crazy about. After thinking about it, I figured it out; too much eggplant, and not enough breading. So, I decided that I needed to make this dish for myself, and see if I could make it in a way I would like. After some experimenting, I realized that double battering the eggplant slices was exactly the taste combo that I was looking for. Eggplant that is extra crunchy and packed with flavor, who could ask for anything better?
- 2 small to medium eggplants
- sea salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoons sea
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- safflower oil
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- grated Parmesan cheese
Cut the eggplant into slices 1/4", then lay out in a single layer on either a cookie sheet or a cutting board. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with sea salt. Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes. By going through this process called sweating, the excess moisture will be drawn out of the eggplant.
After 30 minutes, rinse both sides of the slices thoroughly with cold water.
After rinsing the eggplant, dry each piece very well with paper towel.
Beat the egg and mil put it into a small bowl.
Pour the bread crumbs into a separate shallow dish (I use a pie dish.)
Mix the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of sea salt, dried basil, and the dried parsley. Make sure everything is evenly distributed.
In a large skillet heat 1/3 cup of safflower oil.
To make them extra crispy and tasty, dip the eggplant slice back into the egg mixture. Do this gently so that the bread crumbs don't come off of the slice.
Then again cover the slice with the bread crumbs. This will make each slice double battered for extra crispiness and flavor!
Place 5 or 6 breaded slices in the hot oil, and fry for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Place the fried eggplant slices evenly into a 9X13 glass baking dish that has a handful of mozzarella and parmesan cheese on the bottom.
Layer the eggplant in the baking dish.
In between each layer, sprinkle a handful of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve this dish with a side of angel hair pasta topped with meat sauce or meatless pasta sauce, and some nice warm french bread.