Eggplant Parmesan

In all honesty, I have only ever eaten eggplant once in my life. I had it last year when I made ratatoulli! So trying eggplant in a different form, I wasn’t too sure how this recipe would turn out.

I can say that I actually impressed myself and have a new favorite recipe that is light, crisp and delicious. The entire recipe cost me $10 and it makes about 5-6 servings. I really recommend trying this out, impress yourself, impress your friends and enjoy an awesome meal!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 1-2 cups of fine Italian bread crumbs (I like to use Kroger)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-4 tbsp of grape seed oil (highly recommend over olive oil for this frying)
  • Parmesan cheese shredded
  • Whole milk mozzarella shredded (available at Kroger)
  • Tomato sauce canned or see recipe below
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper
  • Deep medium size baking dish
  • Frying pan

Fresh tomato sauce recipe

  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small can or half of a large can pureed tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • half a small onion finely diced
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, crushed red pepper

Tomato sauce instructions

  1. Cut up/smash the whole tomatoes. Pour all  juice from jar and pieces into a sauce pan.
  2. Add your pureed tomatoes
  3. Saute your finely diced onion and minced garlic in a pan, till they’re soft but not browned.
  4. Finely chop your basil and parsley. About 1-2 tbsp each.
  5. Add in your onion/garlic mixture and begin seasoning with your thyme, oregano and additional seasonings.
  6. Taste taste taste! Get the sauce to your liking and keep on low heat so that it can cook while you begin your eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan Instructions

  1. Peel your eggplant and then cut vertically into thin strips.
  2. Place the strips on paper towel and sprinkle with salt then cover with more paper towel. This process helps get all the moisture out of the eggplant so it wont’ be mushy. Let the eggplant rest for an hour, this is when I made my tomato sauce and prepared the rest of my ingredients.

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3. Once you’ve hit your hour mark, rinse off the salt from your slices and pat dry with paper towel.

4. Cut the vertical slices in half, so you have almost like squares. This will allow easy placement and stacking in the baking dish and makes serving easier.

5. We are now going to prepare our batter station with 3 separate bowls. An egg wash bowl, a flour bowl and then an Italian bread crumb bowl.

6. Whisk together 4 eggs so that the egg wash is smooth.

7. Take a slice of egg plant, dip into the egg wash–shake off any access then dip into the flour so that its lightly coated and shake off any access. Dip your slice back into the egg wash and into the bread crumbs.

8. Have a frying pan ready with 1-2 tbsp of the grape seed oil. Place your slice into the HOT pan and let brown on each side. About 3 min each side. I usually put 4-5 slices in at a time. More oil may be needed the more you fry.

9. Repeat batter process and fry all pieces.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

11. Place a layer of your slices into the baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese then add another layer of eggplant. Repeat stacking until done. Top with sauce and cheese then bake for 30 minutes.

12. Cook your spaghetti as directed.

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Place your eggplant serving on top of your spaghetti, garnish with some parsley and serve with a nice dry white wine.

Enjoy!

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Stuffed Mushrooms

When one finds mushrooms discounted for a $1.00 at Kroger, you need to find something to make and I decided to make stuffed mushrooms. First time making them and they were just bliss. Perfect for any occasion and sure to impress your family and friends!

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Ingredients

  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 half sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • about 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt/pepper/red crushed pepper/garlic salt/Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
  2. Wash your mushrooms thoroughly and carefully PLUCK the stems from the mushrooms, creating a hollow shell of a mushroom top.
  3. Put the mushrooms tops in one bowl and set your stems in another.
  4. We’ll come back to tops at the end.
  5. We’re going to make the filling for the mushrooms by mincing, cut into tiny pieces, the mushroom stems and onion. Chop your Spinach fine also and lastely mince you garlic.
  6. Add your mushroom stems, onion, garlic and spinach into a pan; add your olive oil and sautee until onions and mushrooms become tinder.

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7. Once tinder, season with salt and pepper and add in your cream cheese. Make sure the temperature is on low so you don’t burn your cream cheese or other ingredients.

8. Mix your cream cheese, Parmesan and begin seasoning! Our filling our should well combined and smooth. When you’re happy with the flavor we can begin filling your mushroom tops!

9. Line your mushroom tops on a foil lined baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of filling.

10. Finish them off by sprinkling the bread crumbs over top.

11. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Around 15-20 minutes begin checking on  your mushrooms to make sure they’re not burning. The mushrooms should turn a deeper brown and kind of flattened out adn tops should be a good deep golden brown.

12. Plate and enjoy! A double bonus for this is, if you have left over filling, you can save this and serve it as a cracker spread or dip! Cheers!