Unfortunately, my attempts at making any eggplant dish always end with bitter eggplant. On a recent trip to my hometown, I decided to put an end to my failure and learn how to make eggplant parmesan from a terrific cook, my Uncle Sonny. Every year, at some point during the holiday season, Uncle Sonny, who resembles an older, better looking Emeril, makes baked eggplant parmesan. It's perfectly delicious.
From Uncle Sonny, I learned three secrets: (1) always peel the eggplant; (2) place it in water to draw out the bitterness (previously I was using salt and that method was not working for me); (3.) while this recipe is called baked eggplant, it's important to use a lot of olive oil while "baking" so that the eggplant gets crispy.
Here it is, INTERNETS, Uncle Sonny's online cooking debut.
1 Large eggplant
16 ounces of tomato sauce
1.5 pounds of provolone cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 to 4 eggs (or eggbeaters)
1. Generously apply olive oil to baking sheets and then peel the eggplant.
2. Using a mandolin, slice eggplant into thin slices.
Uncle Sonny uses the MULTI WONDER. If you want one of these, first you'll have to get yourself a time machine.
3. Place slices into a bowl of cold water. Wait until water becomes dark brown (about 30 to 45 minutes).
It helps to stack a plate and a bowl filled with water on top, says Uncle Sonny. Um, okay.
4. Dip eggplant in eggs and then breadcrumbs.
5. Place eggplant on sheet. Cook for 5-7 minutes (the eggplant should be crispy). You will not be able to cook all your eggplant slices at one time. If you have more than one baking sheet, you can get them all ready at once, cook two sheets at a time, and get it done faster. Otherwise, it will take a little bit of time to bake all of the eggplant. The photo below shows the eggplant uncooked. Leave it in until the eggplant is light brown and crispy.
6. In a baking dish, layer the following ingredients sauce, baked eggplant, sauce, provolone cheese (you might consider adding the cheese on every other layer. You can also add parmesan).
7. Finish layering (the photo above is half done) and top with sauce and provolone and parmesan cheese and bake for at least 30 minutes.