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Old 06-05-2015, 05:50 AM   #21
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I'd love to make eggplant parm, Rock. I've never tried to make it before. Do you have a recipe I could try?
We used to make eggplant parm as a casserole/layered dish, but got tired of the soggy breading from being baked with the sauce. We now make a double stack that is assembled on the plate. A piece of breaded (seasoned panko) eggplant, thin sliced fresh mozz, sauce. Repeat. Grated parm on top. The eggplant is prepped ahead by peeling, salting, resting, rinsing and drying before breading. We prefer the sliced mozz as it protects the crisp breading from the sauce better than grated.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:26 AM   #22
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if you slice too thick you will end up with a mushy dish.
How thick do you slice the eggplant? I grill eggplant as a side, and then sprinkle a little parm on it. Slices are usually 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. They do come out a little soggy, but I assumed that is just how it is. I haven't experimented with anything thinner, as I'm not sure if it would remain intact on the grill. I'm game to try something different. Or are you just referring to breading and frying?
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:30 AM   #23
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I've had the eggplant slices marinating in canned spaghetti sauce and decided to go ahead and make the lasagna for dinner tonight.

I was going to make a beef stew, but the lasagna will make more room in my fridge and I want to know if my ideas (thanks for your help) will work.

I have the spaghetti smothered slices in the 350° oven. I'll check and rearrange them and give them another 15 minutes. Hopefully that will be enough.

I'm using pre-made taco meat mixture, probably more spaghetti sauce.

I've got ricotta, mozzarella, 3 cheese parm, and cottage cheese if I need it. I've got some bleu cheese crumbles I might like to try, but I don't know if I dare.

I'll probably do the layers and put it back in the fridge until I get hungry for dinner.

If you people have any more suggestions, I'd love to hear from you. What do you think about adding some blue cheese crumbles??
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:48 AM   #24
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This dish (though it may not be correct) was eggplant parmigiana in our house.
My mother would lightly bread and fry eggplant that had been lightly salted and allow to drain on paper towels.
Then she layered the baking dish just as you would lasagna. Same ingredients as well.

I see no reason why you could not make this and not bread and fry the slices.
With the addition of homemade tomato sauce and several cheeses, it was remarkable. My mother added blanched green peas for color.
I do not make my eggplant parmigiana this way.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:28 AM   #25
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Like myself, my daughter would make her sauce on Friday, then on Saturday morning cut and press her eggplant, flour, egg, bread crumbs and then sauté them in olive oil. She would grate the Moz cheese also at this time. Everything went into the fridge until Sunday morning. Then it would all get put together. A three day effort. And a lot of work. We have a place here called Spinelli's that specializes in Italian food. They make fresh raviolis, pasta, etc. And they also make the dishes for Meals on Wheels. Italian of course. You could buy a whole tray of it already put together. All you have to do is pop it in the oven. When I was just starting out as a new bride, all they made were fresh raviolis. Someday I am going to go down to Day Square and punch some one's lights out. Where were they when I was just starting out? Now they have two huge function facilities along with their cooked food supply.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:44 AM   #26
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This dish (though it may not be correct) was eggplant parmigiana in our house.
I don't think there is a correct recipe. The breading and frying was just another technique used to add another quality to the finished product...
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:25 PM   #27
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I don't think there is a correct recipe. The breading and frying was just another technique used to add another quality to the finished product...
Most recipes for "...parm" dishes, veal or chicken, call for breading and frying the main ingredient. It follows that you should bread and fry the eggplant to be consistent. However, the food police are off duty today so do what you want.

One caution. You must use parmesan cheese in eggplant parm or else you have to change the name.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:27 PM   #28
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Well, I cooked it, and the flavor is great.

However, apparently I used too much spaghetti sauce and it ended up soupy. Delicious, but soupy.

Another lesson learned. *sigh*
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:43 PM   #29
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Well, I cooked it, and the flavor is great.

However, apparently I used too much spaghetti sauce and it ended up soupy. Delicious, but soupy.

Another lesson learned. *sigh*
I decided to make baba ganoush one day. I put eggplant on the grill...and then I remembered I had to pick up meds at the veterinary clinic. I was 1/2 to the clinic when I remembered I had eggplant on the propane grill. I turned around, went home, and rescued the baba ganoush.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:57 AM   #30
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Most recipes for "...parm" dishes, veal or chicken, call for breading and frying the main ingredient. It follows that you should bread and fry the eggplant to be consistent. However, the food police are off duty today so do what you want.

One caution. You must use parmesan cheese in eggplant parm or else you have to change the name.
Our breading has lots of freshly grated parm as well as the amount that goes on the top, but I got to have that melty mozz!
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:31 AM   #31
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Well, I cooked it, and the flavor is great.

However, apparently I used too much spaghetti sauce and it ended up soupy. Delicious, but soupy.

Another lesson learned. *sigh*
Remember, when you place the next layer on, it cause the sauce below it to spread out. So just a dollop here and a dollop there is plenty. And don't spread it out. Leave that job to the next layer. A lot of folks make the same mistake as you. They think the whole layer has to be covered in sauce before placing the next layer on. Then they pile the sauce on the top just to make sure it doesn't bake too dry. This is one dish where less is more.

When I am making a parm dish, I put three dollops down one side (left side) and two on the other side (right) of a layer. Then I reverse it for the next layer. And I use a small ladle for a dollop. The average soup ladle is 3/4 to 1 cup each. You only need /14-1/2 cup for each dollop. With five dollops you are placing more than one cup on each layer.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:29 AM   #32
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Thanks, Addie. That's good advice.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #33
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Our breading has lots of freshly grated parm as well as the amount that goes on the top, but I got to have that melty mozz!

I use both. I top each cutlet with fresh mozz and some parm.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:07 AM   #34
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Thanks, Addie. That's good advice.
That is stuff you learn when you live in an Italian neighborhood.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #35
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The recipe I use for moussaka has you pre-bake the eggplant whole for 30 minutes at 375 and then fry/brown in very small amounts of oil. They don't soak up so much oil that way. You prick the skin in several places, rub with olive oil and turn 2-3 times during cooking. If they are really small, I'd probably cut down time to 20 minutes, especially if you want to thin slice.

Since the slices I fry are "naked," as opposed to breaded, I fry them first and then cut the skin off as a) we don't like the texture of it, and b) I apparently have an allergy to something in the skin since it causes my fingertips to go numb and tingle when handling and also causes GI issues with eating skin-on eggplant that I don't have if they are skinned.

If you are breading and don't want the skin, you could probably cut the skin off first and then bread as long as the eggplant is still fairly firm.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:39 PM   #36
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That is stuff you learn when you live in an Italian neighborhood.
Yep, or even just a nonna, who gave me hints about how to make a better lasagna. Her's was to absolutely die for. One in particular was add some eggs to your ricotta to make it more spreadable and make sure you use S and P and basil (plus any other spices to your taste) in the ricotta, as well as your sauce and meat.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:11 PM   #37
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Yep, or even just a nonna, who gave me hints about how to make a better lasagna. Her's was to absolutely die for. One in particular was add some eggs to your ricotta to make it more spreadable and make sure you use S and P and basil (plus any other spices to your taste) in the ricotta, as well as your sauce and meat.
Now you are talking my language. One of the tricks a nonna taught me was to alter the layers of the lasagna noodle. Lay the first one in one direction, then the next layer across the pan in the opposite direction. It makes it easier to cut into neat squares. She always made her own noodles. In fact I don't know any Italian grandmother that didn't make them. One of my girlfriend's grandmother was making them and was teaching me. All the time she would mumble about how lazy her DIL was and refused to learn how to make them. All the time I was thinking, "I better pay attention or she will get mad at me." That thought just kept running through my head. But I learned to make them just like hers. She had me making a batch right along with her step by step.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:02 PM   #38
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When we make lasagna with homemade noodles, there isn't a lot of crisscrossing. We make the noodles as wide as the pasta machine will make them.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:47 PM   #39
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When we make lasagna with homemade noodles, there isn't a lot of crisscrossing. We make the noodles as wide as the pasta machine will make them.
It makes for quick work of putting it all together. I will have to remember that trick. To this day I make it like she taught me. Gee, I am not to old to learn new tricks. I don't make lasagna for myself, but I do make the noodles for my daughter. I hope she is going to like the size of the new ones.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:00 AM   #40
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The recipe I use for moussaka has you pre-bake the eggplant whole for 30 minutes at 375 and then fry/brown in very small amounts of oil. They don't soak up so much oil that way. You prick the skin in several places, rub with olive oil and turn 2-3 times during cooking. If they are really small, I'd probably cut down time to 20 minutes, especially if you want to thin slice.

Since the slices I fry are "naked," as opposed to breaded, I fry them first and then cut the skin off as a) we don't like the texture of it, and b) I apparently have an allergy to something in the skin since it causes my fingertips to go numb and tingle when handling and also causes GI issues with eating skin-on eggplant that I don't have if they are skinned.

If you are breading and don't want the skin, you could probably cut the skin off first and then bread as long as the eggplant is still fairly firm.
I'm confused. If I cook the eggplant whole, I can't imaging being able to slice and peel it.

I would think it would be too soft.

I don't like the skin either. Thankfully, it's easy to peel just using a regular old peeler.

I marinated the peeled, raw slices in spaghetti sauce, then baked them until softened.

It worked pretty good, but a few slices were too soft to easily pick up.

I'd prefer to be able to bake it whole, but I'd still peel it first unless you have a TNT way you could share.

I like the idea of just baking it first, so could you please elaborate? TIA
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