Ok so now this quarantine shit is legit. It sucks, I get it, but it’s for the betterment of everyone. Stay at home, cook some food, drink yourself silly, and try to make the best of the situation. And most importantly – STAY THE FUCK SAFE!
Here’s my take on eggplant parm (on the stovetop, of course, because now my oven will never get fixed at this rate).
Surprise, surprise – the eggplant will be breaded and then thrown into the homemade tomato sauce which I make so frequently. I will then also attempt to cook this usually baked dish over an open fire because this is what my life has become.
Set up the usual breading station – flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. A lot of recipes will tell you to salt and dry out the eggplant slices, which totally works. And turns out even better! But this is the lazy version so I forwent it. If you have the time (which you likely do) follow direction #1 below.
Lightly sear each of the rounds. An oven would be more useful for this, because in the frying pan it ended up taking me like 5 batches to sear all the eggplant.
After what felt like hours frying the breaded eggplant, I was finally free. I sauteed the chopped onion and garlic in the same pan to pick up any residual flavor.
From there add the tomato sauce and simmer for a bit before adding the eggplant slices. You can be as orderly or haphazard as you want in terms of layering.
Some cheese gets thrown on top with a lid and melt just slightly.
And done. It does look like crap, I’ll say that. But you honestly can’t tell that it was cooked on the stove versus the oven. And hey, a frying pan is easier to clean than any Pyrex dish and you know it.
The moral to this story is… make the best out of the situation. Or something like that. I can’t remember. Food.
- 2 medium size eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ thickness
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 or so garlic cloves, chopped
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- about a cup of flour
- about a cup of bread crumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten with water
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- seasonings – about a teaspoon each of garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, pepper
- chopped parsley to serve
- Optional: Drying out your eggplant (I hardly do it, but it does make a difference if you do). Gently salt both sides of your eggplant slices and throw in a colander in the sink. After an hour most of the moisture will have released. Use a kitchen towel or paper towel to rub off any excess salt or water.
- Get 3 shallow bowls ready – one for flour, one for breadcrumbs, and one for the eggs mixed with a splash of water.
- Begin setting up the frying station based on approximately how many eggplant rounds can fit in your frying pan. Mine ranged from 5-7, so I prepared that many first and set to the side.
- The process is: one eggplant round gets nicely dusted in the flour, then splattered with the egg, and then finished off with the breadcrumbs.
- Once enough eggplant pieces are ready per batch, lightly fry them on medium-high heat with vegetable oil in your largest frying pan. Only a few minutes each side is needed, and once complete, set to the side to dry on paper towels.
- Once all the eggplant slices have been fried, add the chopped onion to the same frying pan and stir. After 5-10 minutes on medium, the onions should be translucent. Add the garlic and lower heat to simmer. Taste and season accordingly with above ingredients; adjust if needed.
- Prepare the eggplant plating in the pan. I was able to only slightly overlap in a circular shape from outside to in. Try to make sure all layers are equally distributed though otherwise cooking times will be off.
- Cover the frying pan with a lid or wrap in tin foil for at least 5 minutes on low heat. After, open up and add shredded cheese, and close for another 5 minutes or so.
- Serve immediately while cheese is melted. Sprinkle parsley on top because it looks cool.