Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Egg-a-plant-a Parmegianna!

Oh man oh man... what a splurge day I had this weekend! Here's a rundown of how my splurgeday went:

8:30 AM (Slept in!) - Started the day off with Oreo Cookies and Milk! OHHHH YEAH.
8:55 AM - Costco brand Asian Snack mix.
9:00 AM - Cheetos (while checking email)
9:30 AM - Jenny and I went to the Denver Diner. I had eggs, hash browns, bacon, snausage, coke (two refills), pancakes and bizcuits.
11:00: Bugle corn schnacks and Gatorade
2:00: QUESO! Jenny made some fab queso. Accompanied with fritos and corn scoopz.
3:00 - 8:00 Constant Schnacking. (More oreos, chips, etc.)
8:00 - Eggplant Parmesan!

Before I continue, I am going to teach you how to make Eggplant Parmesan. I tried a new sauce recipe from a photographer friend of mine, Randy Kepple, from Washington! Thanks Randy! Surprisingly it was almost an exact match to my family recipe. WIERD. Oh and Randy is an AMAZING photographer and I am glad he is in Washington, and not CO or AZ.

1. Get some fresh parsley and garlic, and about a half of a large sweet Walla Walla onion. Chop it up!

2. Sautee it up in EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL!!! Don't get cheap olive oil, people, you're killin me! The garlic is tricky. If your olive oil is too hot, your garlic will burn, producing a strong, bitter, NASTY flavor. Dont do that.

3. My sauce for eggplant never has meat, but I was dying to try Randy's recipe, so I added ground lamb and italian snausage. It was soooooo good! But, I think I'll use that sauce for pasta and lasagna only for now on. The meat kind of covered up the delicate flavors of the eggplant. It was great, but I think the sauce is more intended for lasagna and pasta. Add a good glass of Cabernet. Then add some sugar (or like they call it in Mexico, "Choogargh") to sweeten it up a little and reduce the acidity from the tomatos, some sweet basil, large dash of salt and I add a dash of red wine vinegar, too. Add a small can of Contadina tomato paste, and 1-2 cans full of aqua. Randy and I agree that Hunts makes the best sauce. Add a large can of that. Stir, and turn to LOW.

4. The fun part... bring out tha EGGPLANT! Slice it about 1 cm thick. Too thick, and it will be too firm after it's been fried up. Better too thin than too thick. Dredge in this order: 1. Flour; 2. Eggs and a little milk (to make em fluffier); 3. Bread Crumbs.

I always thought this was a wierd order to do it, because the flour makes it hard for the egg to stick to the eggplant, but that's how Nonnie does it, so I don't ask any questions.

5. Fry em up! Again, in good, extra virgin olive oil! BE CAREFUL. I cook em up at less than "medium-high". Just between Medium and Med-High. Too hot and your eggplant will brown too fast and they will be too firm. Too low and it will take forever and your eggplant will taste more like oil, than eggplant. BE CAREFUL.

In a casserole dish, layer the eggplant and a tiny bit of sauce, a good layer of mozzerella cheese. Do this until you're done and then dump as much sauce as you can on the top and add more cheese.
Toss it in the oven, preheated at 350 for about 15 minutes, or however long it takes to make a side dish of Penne.

7. Remove from the oven, serve, garnishing with fresh basil and parley and grated parmesan cheese. Bon Appetito! ...or BAM! ...or "Dinner's Ready" ...or "come and get it!".

8. Jenny was hard at work in front of her computer while I was slaving away. So I made her close her eyes and stand behind the table. I put the eggplant right on the table, under her nose and made her smell it for a while. I could tell she was getting excited!


Check out what I did to our water! Added fresh rasberries and some canteloupe and mint leaves. It was pretty and refreshing!

The end result:

10:05 PM - Jenny and I went to see the movie "Cars". LOVED IT. And even better, Jenny (ahem, I mean, the "Splurge-Fairy") surprised me with a Cars Pez Dispenser! We had popcorn and sody-pop and those mint cream things that are covered with chocolate (I forgot what they are called) and Sour Patch Kids!!! WEW!
11:59 PM - more oreos and milk. Splurge day was officially over. :(

1 comment:

Aunt Idie said...

Hi Markie. I have a recipe for eggplant that Nonnie showed me too. First slice the eggplant and layer it in a shallow pan with a good amount of salt sprinkled in between all the slices. Put a big pot on the top with heavy objects in the pot. Leave this heap of salted eggplant on the counter for about 3 or 4 hours, and eggplant juice will run off, then rinse all the salt off the slices and prepare and fry them up like you are doing here. I find this gets the bitter taste out of the eggplant and makes them really tender. The salt pulls the bitterness out of the seeds of the eggplant. I love that dinner! You are a great cook! Wish I could join. Love, Aunt Idie