Eggplant Parmesan (From America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)
makes 1 9x13 pan
2 globe eggplants (2 lbs), sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 C all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
4 C panko bread crumbs (or plaind dried breadcrumbs, but I like the texture of panko better)
3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1-1/2 C)
6 T vegetable oil
4 C tomato sauce (homemade, please!), pureed smooth
8 oz mozarella, shredded (2 C)
10 fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)
- Toos the eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt (easiest if done in 2 batches) and let it drain in a colander for about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, adjust 2 oven racks to the upper- and lower- middle positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat the oven to 425°F. Combine the flour and 1 t pepper in a large zipper lock bag and shake to combine. Beat the eggs into a shallow dish. Combine the breadcrumbs, 1 C of the Parmesan, 1/4 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper in a second shallow dish.
- Spread the drained eggplant over paper towels. Wipe away as much salt as possible and press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible. Working with about 8 eggplant slices at a time, place them in the bag with the flour, seal, and shake until thoroughly coated. Remove the eggplant, shaking off an excess flour, and dip into the eggs. Remove to eggplant from the eggs, allowing any excess to drip off, and coat evenly with the breadcrumbs, pressing them to adhere. Lay the breaded eggplant on a wire rack. Flour, dip in egg, and coat the remaining eggplant with breadcrumbs in the same manner.
- Remove the preheated baking sheets from the oven. Pour 3 T oil onto each sheet, tilting to coat the sheets evenly. Spread the breaded eggplant in a single layer over the hot sheets. Bake until the eggplant is well browned and crisp on the first side, about 20 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over. Switch and rotate the baking sheets, and continue to bake until the second side is browned, about 10 minutes longer. (Do not turn off the oven.)
- Spread 1 C of tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Shingle half of the eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Distribute 1 more cup of the sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozarella. Shingle the remaining eggplant exposed so that it will remian crisp. Sprinkle with 1/4 C of the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 C mozarella.
- Place the dish on the lower-middle rack of the oven. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and well browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the basil over the top and cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Pass the remaining 1 C tomato sauce and 1/4 C Parmesan separately.