Eggplant Parmesan Plus How To Freeze Eggplant


This actually was delicious even though I had to use the frozen eggplant! 

RECIPE

Ingredients

Eggplant (I used only one large eggplant for a small casserole to give you an idea)
Marinara or meat sauce homemade or purchased (I used approximately 2 1/2 cups homemade sauce)
Egg 1
Milk 1 cup
Self-Rising flour (enough to coat the amount of eggplant round slices you have)
Panko Seasoned bread crumbs (I probably used about a cup)
Olive Oil 
Mozzarella grated (I used approximately 4 to 6 oz.)
Parmesan grated -a good brand that you grate yourself is always best. I personally use
Fratelli Carli Parmigiano Reggiano and it is so delicious!

This small recipe yielded enough for 4 people

Quick Instructions:

  • If using frozen eggplant thaw the slices a little not completely. *see blanching/freezing instructions below.

  • If using fresh eggplant slice into 1" slices place in water with lemon juice to prevent browning, drain and sprinkle with salt set aside on paper towels or in a colander to let the water drain out of the eggplant. Do this for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Sauce thaw if using a frozen sauce or make your homemade meat sauce or marinara you may use a jar of store-bought if you wish and have one available
  • Coat eggplant rounds with self-rising flour, dip in egg/milk mixture, coat with seasoned Panko Crumbs, and drizzle with a little olive oil on top.
  • Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Bake eggplant rounds at 400 degrees until golden brown on both sides
  • You may fry the eggplant slices if you'd rather.  Drain on a wire rack or paper towels if you do.
  • Remove and cool completely Important that they are completely cool.
  • layer in a baking dish:  sauce-- eggplant-- cheese in that manner beginning with sauce ending with cheese on top!
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown on both sides and bubbly to your liking!

A Few Notes

It wasn't long ago I froze a large eggplant. Frankly, we don't have eggplant much. This one came from my favorite vegetable delivery company Misfits. I knew it had to be used quickly or it would rot 

They tend to be very fragile unless you grow them yourself.  They hold up better that way. I need to grow more this coming season.

My refrigerator-freezer stopped working recently and I had to retrieve some very good items from it like the frozen eggplant and the wonderful homemade meat sauce. We had lots of cheese stashed above in the fridge. I didn't want to waste those things in case the refrigerator went on the blink too.

Of course, you can make it all from scratch and that would be very delicious!  I was surprisingly amazed that the frozen eggplant when baked crisp was very good!  I thought it would be mush city, but it wasn't!

*Note I used frozen which I had never done before but it was still delicious!  Of course, fresh is always best but when in a pinch use your frozen.  Buy them on sale and freeze if you can't cook them in time.  I used the baked blanching method listed below and it was grand!


HOW TO FREEZE EGGPLANT

Wash dry and slice into 1-inch rounds. 

Prepare by baking or blanching in a pot of hot water

Two ways you can prepare for freezing you choose the method you prefer

1. Baking:  Bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 15 minutes. Remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.  Do not store in freezer bags until completely cooled.  Once cooled store in freezer bags.

Or

2. Blanching in water: Have a large pot with water boiling, add eggplant round slices into water blanch for 4 minutes. Remove from water and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the blanching process. Remove from ice water place on paper toweling or wire racks. Let them cool completely.

Freezing eggplant: Lay the freezer bag on its side.  Place eggplant rounds across the side then layer with wax paper, continue layering and adding wax paper until the bag is full.  Remember to leave a little headspace at the top of the bag to allow for expansion. Label and freeze for up to 3 months for best flavor.  **Note it will be best if using frozen to use them in sauces.  The texture as with all frozen foods will differ from fresh so keep that in mind.





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