Eggplant Parmasean

When the crowd gets larger than out table can fit, we just have a stand-up buffet and have our friends sit, stand, eat and drink all night long.  It’s fun to bring out a cascade of small plates throughout the night for our guests to feast upon.

One thing I love to make for such parties is a crispy & spicy Eggplant Parmesan.  Of course you have to get over your fear of frying but once you have cleared that hurdle this dish is easy to do.

Ingredients 

  • 4 -6 medium eggplants, cut in 1/2 inch circular slices
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Tobasco sauce
  • 4 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chimichurri rub
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 cup freshly ground pepper seperated
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • Peanut or canola oil for frying
  • Slice mozzarella cheese and more parmesan cheese
  • 32 oz jar of Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil

The Tools

  • 13 3/4 quart Staub cast-iron round cocotte or any other dutch oven
  • 4 inch wire skimmer with wooden handle, 12 inches long
  • Tongs
  • Paper bags from the grocery market
  • Candy thermometer

Making It

  • Mix the eggs and Tobacco sauce and put in one bowl
  • Mix the bread crumbs, chimichurri rub, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of ground pepper, garlic powder and salt in a bowl and mix
  • In the third bowl put 2 cups of self rising flour
  • Fill the dutch oven up to the half-way point with canola oil, or the oil of your choice
  • Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes over medium head for 3 minutes then add the Rao’s Marinara Sauce, cook for 10 minutes

Time to Cook

  • Turn the oven on high and get the oil to 360 degrees, monitor with the candy thermometer
  • Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, then the eggs and finally the bread crumb mix, place on a baking sheet
  • Place them in the oil and fry for 90 seconds on each side then place on the paper towels then put on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Put on basil leaf on each fried eggplant slice
  • Cover with the sauce
  • Liberally sprinkle with parmesan cheese, a pinch of red pepper flakes and chimichurri and pepper on each one
  • Salt to taste, remember that the parmesan is salty to begin with
  • Put a slice of mozzarella cheese on each
  • Broil for 4-5 minutes until buddy and golden brown
  • Serve with sides of parmesan cheese and the extra sauce

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