Friday, May 3, 2013

My lightened up version of eggplant parmesan...

My version...oh...my.


I will never forget the first time I tried eggplant Parmesan.   There are few foods that I can remember that well, but it was Ah-mazing.

I planned a trip to the Paris Winery in Paris, TN.
  They were having a murder mystery dinner theater.  
Something I always wanted to try, but never had.  I actually decided to have 
a part in the play.  
I am glad I did because it
was really pretty cool.

 At the dinner service, for the main course, they come out with EGGPLANT PARMESAN...
Never tried it, but MAN, let me tell you, it was goood!
I even talked Eric out of most of
his serving, just because
I could tell he
was not enjoying it as much as I would.

After getting back home and reading some recipes, I found the answer to why it was soo good.
You actually fry the breaded
eggplant in oil (kinda like fried green tomatoes), then, you add the cheese and tomato sauce, layering it like a lasagna.  Totally 
high fat, but it was worth every 
bite.

That leads us to my next recipe.  I have made it similarly in the past, but 
I am going to try to post a low fat, low calorie version, but keep the all of the FLAVOR.

Here we go...

First, you will need one large eggplant or a couple of medium ones.


Cut it into slices about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Then you want to put the slices in a bowl and generously salt them.


This draws out excess moisture AND bitterness.  You will be rinsing them later, so don't worry about 
too much salt.
Let them sit for about an hour at room temperature.

After an hour, rinse the slices and pat them dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk 2 egg whites in a shallow bowl (after dipping a few, I realized it also needs a few tablespoons of milk, so add that as well).



In a separate paper plate, add 2 T flour, 
and in another shallow bowl, add about one cup of panko breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs will work as well).

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour and lightly coat it.  Then dip it into the egg whites and then into the breadcrumbs. 

Place each on a baking sheet and spray with butter spray.


Cook for 30 minutes, flipping them over at 15 minutes.

Once they are done and looking nice and browned and yummy...


You will be needing about a cup of Parmesan cheese (I had a small block, so I shredded some fresh!), a cup of Italian cheeses (or just mozzarella) , and about 2/3 jar of your favorite marinara sauce.


In a large casserole dish,
make 3 large circles in the bottom with a nice coat of the marinara sauce.  


Then stack the slices of baked eggplant one slice at a time...



Put a tablespoon of sauce on each and sprinkle Parmesan between each slice.


Continue until all slices are stacked...



Top with mozzarella and parsley flakes for prettiness...


You may need a toothpick to hold them together while baking.  I inserted a toothpick in each, just in case.

Cover with foil and
place in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.   Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.


Remove from the oven and serve with a salad and your favorite bread.


I absolutely loved this to the 100th degree!   

Love what you eat and eat what you love!  :)








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