Nana’s Eggplant Parmagiana

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Yesterday I did something I have never done before. A live Periscope with my mom. We did it in a silly cooking show format but I asked her some questions that reminded her of my grandmother, my dad and growing up an Italian in New York.

The cool thing was I got to involve my sister, who was several States away in New York. She got to see my mom and my kids, in real time, in the moment. It was kind of like a Skype, but with an audience. My mom had a blast and my sister seemed to really enjoy the live connection.

I just marvel at the way technology can bring people together. This is something I experience daily on this blog. Like Dream Big, Dream Often who hosts a Meet and Greet each weekend so other bloggers can connect thru him, and Howto$tuffyourPig, who always gives such positive feedback and helpful posts. People from all over giving encouragement and support to complete strangers. It gives you hope for our world.

Anyway, here is the Eggplant Parmagiana recipe me and mom made yesterday.wpid-20150829_154317-1-1.jpg

About 3 small to medium eggplants (According to mom you will want to find ones that feel light. The heavier ones have more seeds)

3-4 eggs depending on the amount the eggplant yields

2 cups breadcrumbs

1 cup of flour

olive oil for pan frying

1 jar or 24 oz of sauce, store bought or homemade

sliced mozzarella cheese (can use shredding but I prefer slices) about 8 oz

About 1/2 cup shredding parmesan cheese

You can also add in provolone if you prefer (I didn’t have it on hand so I left it out)

Spray a 9x 13 pan with cooking spray, Slice eggplant in to about 1/2 inch think slices.

Part 1: The Salting

Place slices on a cookie sheet. Salt the slices liberally then let them sit there for about an hour. This is a step that I saw from Alex Guarnaschelli’s tutorial on Food Network. It draws out some of the water and with it some of the bitterness of the eggplant. You don’t have to do this step, my mom never did. However, I feel it makes a world of difference in the texture of the eggplant after frying. It helps to keep it crispy and not soggy.

Part 2: The Dredge

This is a pretty typical breading dredge that can be used for many different things. Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs each in separate containers shallow enough to move the eggplant in.  My mom advises to add about a tbsp. of water to the eggs and beat them. She said it helps to extend the eggs and make them a little more viscous. If you have not purchased pre-seasoned breadcrumbs be sure to season them with salt and pepper or Italian seasoning. Also lightly season the flour as well. Then take a slice of eggplant dip it into the flour, then the egg, then place it in the breadcrumbs and lightly tap off the excess. Place them on a separate sheet pan to await frying.

Part 3: The Fry

In a non stick pan set at medium high heat, place about 1/2 cup olive oil. Once the surface is shimmering place eggplant in to fry for about 4-5 minutes, then flip. You will have to add about another 1/4 to 1/2 a cup or oil with each new batch of eggplant. Once fried move fried pieces onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain some of the oil while they cool.

Part 4: The Assemble

In your 9×13 pan place about 1/2 of sauce on bottom. Then layer eggplant, cheese’s and more sauce. Continue until all eggplant is gone or no more can fit in the pan. Try to end with cheese.  Pop it in the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Part 5: Enjoy!

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