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Eggplant Parmesan

📷One of my favorite meals of all time is Eggplant Parmesan.   In the last couple of years I have been selling my products at the Ocean Springs Fresh Market in Ocean Springs,MS.  There is a local farmer (Wes) who grows a couple of different varieties of eggplant but one I have really grown to love is the ICHIBAN.  This is a long slender eggplant that is different from the regular one we usually use for eggplant Parmesan but trust me you have to give this one a try.  This type of eggplant has a thinner skin and is a little less bitter than some varieties.  I slice it long ways to make long thin strips of eggplant.   I hope you try this variety of eggplant with this recipe although it will work with any variety.  Make sure that you fry your eggplant in extra virgin olive oil and make sure it is fried crispy.  Soggy eggplant is never good. EGGPLANT PARMESAN

4 Ichiban eggplants

1 1/2 C Italian breadcrumbs📷

2 eggs (beaten)

1/4 c Milk or buttermilk(helps to cut the bitter eggplants)

1 1/2 c. flour

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Chef Danie's Chunky Marinara Sauce

2 c mozzarella cheese

1/2 c parmesan cheese 📷First slice eggplant lengthwise about 1/4 in thick.  Heat enough olive oil in a deep saute pan to fry the eggplant in.  The oil needs to be nice and hot but remember olive oil has a very low smoke temp so watch it. Get three separate bowls.  In one put the flour, in one put the breadcrumbs and in the other put the eggs and milk and beat together.  Dip the sliced eggplant into the flour first and then the egg and then the breadcrumbs.  Continue this until all of the eggplant is coated and ready to go in the oil.  When oil is hot place a few pieces of eggplant in to cook.  Do not crowd the pan as this will drop your oil temperature quick.. Cook about 2 min on each side or until the eggplant is nice and golden.  Remove from oil and place on plate covered with a paper towel to drain any excess oil off.  Continue until all the eggplant is cooked.I like to heat my suce separately and then over some cooked angel hair pasta I like to build my eggplant parm.  First the pasta then a little of the heated sauce, then the eggplant ,then a little more sauce and then top it with parmesan and mozzarella.  The heat from the sauce should melt the mozzarella but if not you can always place it under a broiler to melt.  The top with fresh basil and enjoy!!!

Posted 6th July 2011 by Chef Danie

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