School and my daughter’s Irish dance recital are now finally over. All of the school year obligations, except for my son’s cello recital on Tuesday are done! There was a huge sigh of relief in my house last night.
These are most of the students from the dance school my daughter attends. It was a gorgeous day yesterday. Thankfully not as hot as it has been – low 90s, or else we would never have been able to get this picture of so many of the students.
This is my daughter’s dance class. They are all lovely ladies inside and out. It is nice to see them all together for one last class. Two of the girls have now graduated from high school and will be off to college in the fall. They will be missed.
I usually make a special breakfast or dinner for the end of the school year but this year just seemed to crazy so we let everyone choose whatever they wanted for dinner and we would order it from where ever they wanted. My daughter chose Chinese food while my son chose pizza. We had appetizers. Everyone was happy.
This is the dish I need to repeat soon. This recipe is very labor intensive so I only make it once or twice a year, usually on a lazy Saturday or Sunday when I can take all day to prepare the eggplant and cook it. Despite the time it is one of our most favorite recipes and one that my father requests that I make whenever I can for him.
As you will note I do not give exact measurements for the dish as it is all done by feel. I will carefully try to explain each and every step as I go along.
- 2-3 eggplants
- bread crumbs
- olive oil
- tomato Sauce
- salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning
- 2 rolls of good paper towels
- To prepare the eggplant you will need 1-2 hours prior to when you wish to start cooking your eggplant. Peel the eggplant and then using a Mandolin slice the eggplant into long thin ribbons. Place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet covered with 4-5 layers of white paper towels. Lightly salt the eggplant and cover with another 2-3 layers of paper towels. Continue layering the eggplant (salted) with the paper towels until all your eggplant is sliced. Place a second cookie sheet on top of the last layer of paper towels and weigh it down with several large, heavy books.
- Let the eggplant sit for 1-2 hours to leech all the water out of it.
- When you are ready to fry the eggplant place a large pot with an inch of olive oil over medium-low heat. Heat until it gets slightly shimmery. DO NOT OVERHEAT as olive oil has a very low smoking point.
- Beat 2-3 eggs and a splash of milk together. Put this mix on a dinner plate.
- Fill a dinner plate with bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper, Italian Seasonings and Parmesan cheese. Honestly I use a smell test for this. If it smells really good and spicy to me I have added enough. Mix together on the plate.
- Dip one ribbon of the eggplant into the egg mix covering it completely. Then dip the eggplant in the bread mixture. Make sure the eggplant is completely coated.
- Carefully place the ribbon of eggplant into the heated oil to avoid splashing the oil and burning yourself. It will take just 2-3 minutes to fry completely on both sides. When brown and crispy remove from the pan to a rack covered with several layers of paper towels. Continue cooking all the eggplant in the same manner in small batches. Do not overcrowd in the oil pan or it will not get crispy. If you need more egg mixture of bread mixture prepare as needed.
- Once all the eggplant is cooked prepare a 9×13 inch pan with a small amount of tomato sauce in the bottom. Cover the bottom with one layer of eggplant. Add a light layer of mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and then a second layer of eggplant. Over this layer add mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and then a little bit of tomato sauce. Keep adding two layers at a time with cheese in between and a bit of sauce on top. I have found the lighter your hand is in adding the sauce the crisper the eggplant will stay and not become soggy.
- Once all the eggplant is gone add a final layer of sauce topped with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cheese is well melted and warmed through.
- Serve with more tomato sauce on the side.