Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Awesome Eggplant

Ever eaten eggplant? It's one of the coolest foods out there. Cooked eggplant is a bit like cooked mushroom, with a meaty texture. And if the grocery store prices scare you, they're easy to grow.
April and I snagged some eggplant from the parents (my mom grows it but she doesn't cook much with it). And we found and modified a recipe:

Eggplant Parmigiana:
2 eggs
2 T. water

2 eggplants (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices)
Dip the eggplants into the mix, then into
1/2 cup flour

Cook in frying pan with oil until golden brown.

Layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
Pour 2 cups meatless spaghetti sauce on it.
Cover with cheese (you can use mozzarella and Parmesan; we used Swiss).
The recipe calls for two cups of shredded cheese, but I just sliced the cheese and put what I felt was a good amount on top.

Bake uncovered at 400 F for 12 minutes or so.

One of my favorite recipes ever. And by posting it here, I don't have to feel bad about not responding to the chain emails asking for recipes.


JorgenMan said...

I don't consider myself to be a picky eater - sauerkraut, kimchi, shellfish, kvass, no problem, but I have never been able to enjoy eggplant. To me, it's always just seemed like a bland squash that was cooked way too long. I've been told that eggplant is like tofu, in that it's supposed to absorb the flavor of the foods around it.

Is eggplant supposed to be as soft as it usually comes in the restaurant? Is it really supposed to absorb the flavor of other foods, or does it have a flavor? I'm just trying to get a feel for whether or not the eggplant I occasionally eat in a restaurant is what eggplant is really supposed to be like.

Tim said...

Eggplant should be fairly firm when raw, but cooking it softens it. The thing I like about it the most is the texture. It's very meaty, a lot like cooked mushrooms are meaty. I don't care for tofu at all. Cooked meat plant can still be a bit firm.
I can see the squash comparison. I much prefer the taste of eggplant; it should be a very mild taste. Every recipe I've seen for it also includes cheese, with the following exception:
We also tried Ratatouille (spelling?). If you're going for an extra healthy vegetarian vegetable dish...it's great. Also includes a healthy dose of eggplant.
Guess I'm just a big fan of natural meat substitutes. The listed recipe would work as a vegetarian lasagna of sorts...but that sounds kind of gross, and the dish is wonderful.

JorgenMan said...

This summer, we had grilled portabella mushroom burgers, which are burgers with a big grilled portabella mushroom (marinated in balsamic vinegar and some other stuff) instead of the beef patty. They were very, very good. I love a good burger, but these were a delicious alternative.