BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

January 17 2013

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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5 lb eggplant
3 eggs
seasoned breadcrumbs
1/8 - 1/4 c water
1 can(s) san marzano tomatoes
1/8 c olive oil
1 Tbsp oregano, dried
cooking spray
parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese

To the one can of San Marzano tomatoes add olive oil, oregano and salt to taste. If your can of tomatoes is whole or chopped use a blender, or food processor to make into a smooth sauce. Set aside. You do not cook this - trust me it gives the parmesan a FRESH tomato taste!

Fill one dish with seasoned bread crumbs, fill another one with the eggs and water beaten.

Start to cut your eggplant. I do not peel mine as we like the flavor of the skin of the Japanese eggplant, if using the italian style eggplant you may want to peel. (Japanese eggplant is banana shaped - Italian style is more bulb shaped). Slice eggplant into 4 inch sections turn on its side so the round part is facing down and then cut in 1/2 inch slices - you now have a sort of rectangle piece of egg plant NOT a round slice. I do this because it makes it easier to layer.

Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Place eggplant in egg wash then into bread crumbs, shake off excess. fill one tray, spray the battered eggplant with cooking spray. Place into per heated 450F oven on bottom rack. Repeat for tray two rotate bottom tray to top. If you have not finished slicing egg plant you can do this while you are waiting for the top rack to finish cooking. No more than 10 mins for each sheet.

In a 13 x 9 glass baking dish lightly coat bottom with the tomato sauce. Start layering eggplant, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, cheese and a bit of salt if you think it needs it- repeat starting with the tomato again, but layer the eggplant going in the opposite direction as the layer before. If you are doing this while the eggplant is cooking in the oven you will save a ton of time! Also keep in mind I do not put a ton of cheese in the layers as we are trying to keep this full flavor - lower calories!

Once ALL the eggplant is in the dish cover with the remaing tomato sauce and a generous helping of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Put in the 450f oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is brown.