I don't cook with eggplant a lot because *whispers* the weeone thinks she doesn't like it. She does. I know this because I've covered it in amazing sauces before and she ate it. She just didn't know what she ate. Stealth Momma....that's me.
This time, I put it all out on the table and showed her my cards. I informed her that she was going to be having eggplant for dinner. Her reaction? "Okay." Um...well, that was anti-climatic!
So I had these two pretty eggplants ( good eggplant should be firm, don't be fooled into squishy ones!)
I sliced the eggplants into 1/2 inch slices, salted them and let them drain for about thirty minutes. Eggplant are a watery bunch and if you're gonna fry 'em, and we are, then you've gotta drain 'em. Two reasons - #1 watery things make hot oil jump out of the pan and do damage to your face and #2 watery things get soggy when breaded and fried.
Once they were good and drained, they went into bathe in egg and breadcrumbs. Now, I did not flour before the egg wash and crumbs because I thought I'd save a few calories along the way - I didn't miss it in the final product.
After I got them all well dredged and coated, it was time to spend some time in the cast iron skillet! I heated up some vegetable oil - not tons, just enough to thoroughly coat for pan-frying and started making the eggplant crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The last step of eggplant parmesan is the layering and baking!!! In a baking dish I layered marinara, eggplant, sliced mozzarella, grated parmesan, marinara, eggplant, sliced mozzarella and more grated parmesan. Yum. A slice of mozzarella may or may not have been ingested along the way. Don't judge. ;D
Into the oven this went until it was all hot, melted and bubbly with a slight browned top.
Eggplant Parmesan Success!!! It's not neat and pretty, but my belly (and the weeone) said it's good. Now, go try it!