Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Recipe - Eggplant Parm with Spinach and Mushrooms

Back to the cooking grind this weekend. I haven't cooked in several weeks, because of the City Chase and a relaxing weekend in Maine. So this week, I made two recipes - the eggplant parm I'm listing below and a chicken tomato feta pasta with a mustard marjoram dressing. The latter I'll mention at a later date (it's awesome, but I don't have the recipe in my head at the moment...).

Beware: if you cook this recipe and live in a shoebox like I do, you might end up smelling like eggplant parm if you go out that evening...

The eggplant parm was originally my dad's recipe until I tweaked the sauce and added some veggies. So we'll call this a father-daughter collaboration. I bought the eggplant at the farmer's market (it's in season, woohoo!), and the spinach, onions, and mushrooms came from my local farmstand. I ate it straight-up, but I think that it would probably be awesome as a sauce over pasta as well. The recipe below makes lots of leftovers (for fairly large servings, it's about 10 servings, I think).


Eggplant Parm with Spinach and Mushroom

1 medium-large onion, chopped finely
3 28oz cans of italian-style diced tomatoes
t marjoram
t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2C red wine
grapeseed/olive oil

Eggplant parm:
1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced into disks
1-2C bread crumbs
2-3 eggs
1/2lb spinach (give or take)
2 large portabello mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
1/4-1/2lb mozzarella
garlic (optional)
grapeseed/olive oil

To make the sauce:
Put some oil in a pot and add chopped onions. Once onions are translucent, but not browned, add the tomatoes, spices, and wine. Continue to cook while you make the eggplant so the flavors will permeate the sauce. Don't hold your head too close to the pot or you might get hot tomato in your face (no, of course that didn't happen to me, no sirree!)

To make the eggplant parm:
Put bread crumbs in one bowl and eggs (whisked) in another. Add oil to a skillet. Coat eggplant disk in egg then bread crumbs and place in the heated skillet (as many at a time as you can fit). Cook until browned on both sides (don't overcook as they have the tendency to turn into hockey pucks, which could both help build up jaw muscles and also crack teeth at the same time). Set aside.

Next comes the assembly. I use a glass casserole dish, so I don't preheat the oven (putting glass into a hot oven can make it crack, I hear tell), but if you're using another material, then preheat the oven to 375.

In your casserole dish, put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, then follow with layers of eggplant, sauce, mushroom, spinach, sauce, cheese, sauce, eggplant, etc etc until it's completed. Dab minced garlic throughout as much as desired (I forgot this step when I made it, so it's not essential). Pop into the oven and cook until cheese is melted and tomato sauce is bubbling (but not bubbling over, so don't pile your layers too high. Trust me, tomato and cheese caking the bottom of your over never makes for a pleasant experience when it comes to fire alarms).

Maybe next time I make this I'll try adding chicken or something, to add some protein (apart from the cheese, which (while tasty) is high in saturated fat.

It just occurred to me that there's no parmesan in this recipe. Hrm. Well, I suppose I was supposed to use parmesan instead of mozzarella, but whatever, it's all about taste, right?


MizFit said...

there once was an old MizFit
who lived in a shoebox....

(thanks for the warning)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Well it beats smelling like clams and broccolini and garlic, the ingredients of my pasta dinner...

That eggplant parm sounds very tasty!

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I had frozen some salmon burgers and took them out last week. I then reheated them and I swear, if I'd been outside, the smell would've traveled for blocks! Not making those again...