As I've worked on getting better at blogging, one of the toughest aspects is writing down a recipe. Because I cook all the time, it is easy for me to just eyeball measurements, adjust things to taste, and fudge here and there instead of doing something the right way. To get better, I try to have a pen and paper handy and remember to write things down. However, scrap paper in the kitchen often ends up being the blank borders of recipes or coupons! And then I went to visit my good friend, Stacey, last Thursday night before leaving for New York. She surprised me with a recipe journal, which I used for the first time on this recipe. It doesn't look like much -- a bunch of ingredients listed in no particular order, but it worked out perfectly!
Peel and slice into 1/4" thick rounds:
1 large eggplant
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In another small bowl, combine:
2/3 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Once the oil is hot, place 5-6 slices of eggplant in the skillet. Cover with lid and cook for ~3 minutes on each side. The eggplant is done when the center is tender. Two tips:
1. The eggplant will soak up the oil quickly, so you may feel tempted to add more after flipping the eggplant. Don't. You'll end up with very oily eggplant parmesan after its baked.
2. Medium heat is the key. Using too high a heat will cause the eggplant to burn but not cook through.
While the eggplant is cooking, prepare the cheese topping.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon basil
pepper to taste
Place 2/3 cups Basic Tomato Sauce in a 9"x13" casserole dish. Arrange eggplant on top of sauce. Evenly cover with 2 cups tomato sauce. Cover with the cheese topping.
Serve with favorite pasta noodles.