Melanzane Alla Parmigiana aka Eggplant Parmesan

Here’s another Sicilian recipe from Sicilian Cookery. Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes, so I was excited to make this.

I do have to warn the dear readers that eggplant is a fussy one-eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater. Wait. That’s something else….

Ok, so maybe it doesn’t fly and eat people, but it is purple, you could say it has one horn, and trust me when I tell you that it can be a difficult vegetable to cook.

I was going to seguue a joke about eggplant emojis, but I just found out Prince died. It just doesn’t seem right to do now. I mean Prince is not an eggplant emoji, but when it comes to purple beings you can’t deny that he reigns them all.

What would Prince have to say about all of this? I wonder if he enjoyed eggplant? I have a feeling he did. I mean it’s his favorite color and based on that pancake skit from Chapelle Show I have a feeling the man liked to cook.

So, Prince, I dedicate this purple recipe to you.

Here’s what you need for your Prince Eggplant Parm

  • 5 eggplants
  • 2 pounds of tomatoes
  • 1 pound of onion
  • 6 oz of Primosale cheese
  • 1 cup of grated cheese
  • basil
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying

Eggplant is kind of princess and needs special treatment, so the first step is to give it a nice salt water spa bath for 30 minutes.

Drain, rinse, and pat your princess dry and then fry her in some hot oil.

If you are like me and was never taught how to fry food, then you might need some help here. Even if you were taught how to fry food, eggplant can be troublesome. Eggplant soaks up oil like a succubus and that makes monitoring the frying process extremely difficult.

Soaking the eggplant in salt water is supposed to prevent the mass soaking of the oil, but in my case I soaked and that purple succubus still managed to suck my oil dry.

The internet tells me that larger eggplants seem to be more likely to do this, so I can deduce that if you have a larger variety then extending the soak to an hour will reduce the effect.

If you find that during the frying process that it’s still greasy and oily, my best advice is to blot out the oil with a paper towel as much as possible.

The time it takes to fry eggplant can take up to ten minutes. Again the internet told me this. I enjoy this cookbook, because it is authentic Sicilian food, but it’s not the best teaching tool for cooking. They leave out a lot of details like how long to fry the eggplant.

Since it does take ten minutes to fry, feel free to start cooking your sauce. Again, the cookbook doesn’t give you too many details about how to do this. All it says is “make some tomato sauce with plenty of basil.”

Yeah. I know.

Thankfully I was taught how to make my own sauce. So when I read that, I knew what to do. I’m going to assume that my readers might not though, so here is how you do that.

The first step is to cut an x on the top of your tomatoes listed above. Boil those tomatoes until the skin starts to peel. Once that happens, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water or place on a bed of ice. Ice is more ideal by the way. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel them and then cut into cubes. Place the tomato chunks in a pan and then cook until it resembles a sauce.

Feel free to add your favorite spices to the sauce as well. I stuck with just the basil because of the cookbook, but I ended up adding oregano and garlic later.

When the eggplant is fried and the sauce is cooked, you will bake. Oil a pan of your choice and place a layer of eggplant on it. Cover that layer with sauce and a layer of cheese. Continue this layering until everything has been used up.

Drizzle the top layer with oil and then bake for 15 minutes.

The final result is a simple eggplant Parmesan recipe that you can use as a base and later add your own personal preferences to it.

I, for example, doctored up my leftovers by adding different spices to my sauce and eating it with a side of spaghetti.

My initial tasting of this did disappoint me. This was because I didn’t properly fry my eggplant. It was greasy, spongy, and oily.

My leftovers were much better than my initial tasting thankfully. I think this was mostly because when I re-heated the eggplant it somehow diminished the oily, spongy texture.  The tweeks I made to the sauce also helped.

Anyway, I’d love to make this again but I’d probably be lazy and buy a jar of sauce and use mozzarella for some layers to give it more of a gooey stringy cheese texture.

So, so good, that gooey stringy cheese taste.

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Mile-High, Southwest, Western, Denver Omelet

This omelet is brought to you by Cook This, Not That and its official name is Mile-High omelet aka Denver Omelet aka Western omelet aka Southwest Omelet.

Why there are so many names for this omelet? I do not know, but every diner I’ve been to flip-flops on what to call it. My best guess is that some diners are jealous of Denver. The Western and Southwest omelets don’t even want to acknowledge that it’s a Denver thing and the Mile-High ones are trying to be sneaky about it. I imagine a conversation between a Denver citizen and a Mile-High omelet diner goes like this, “So…why didn’t you just name it a Denver omelet?”

“Oh, but we DID! We named it Mile-High because you are the Mile-High City!!!”

“……some people might not know that though. I feel like you’re trying to trick me.”

Mile-High Diner stammers and flashes fake smiles to hide their infinite and envious jealousy. They make up some lame excuse so they don’t look bad and Denver is annoyed, but Denver is used to it. Denver’s motto is “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

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Denver doesn’t have time for Mile-High games

Anyway, some people say to make an omelet you’ve gotta break some eggs. That is true. In my case you break a lot of eggs and brutally murder two omelets. “Third time’s a charm” has been proven to also be a true statement.

What you’ll need (For 4 Servings)

  • 1/4 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 oz smoked ham, cubed or sliced into thin strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar

The first step is to heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onions for 7 minutes. The vegetables should soften up and be lightly browned. When this happens, add the ham and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to your liking once the ham is cooked.

You are now ready to break some eggs!

Break the eggs into a bowl and add the milk. Whisk this mixture until it’s slightly frothy and season with a bit of salt. (If you are just making an omelet for yourself, I like to use only two eggs and I just splash a bit of milk)

Now here comes the challenging part, making an omelet that doesn’t fall apart. The best advice is to use a skillet that is as non-stick as possible. Heat that skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Swirl the oil in the pan so that it can act as extra non-stick protection. Then pour one-quarter of the eggs in the pan. As they cook, take a wooden spoon and scrape the outer edges. This is to even out the eggs as well as a check to see how settled the omelet is. When the eggs are almost fully cooked, you will add one-quarter of your filling and one-quarter of the cheese on one half of your eggs.

Here comes the other hard part. Take a spatula and carefully fold over the empty side of your omelet. My best advice to accomplish this is to use the wooden spoon and the spatula. You can also tilt your pan as you lift the empty side of your omelet.

Once flipped, I like to let it cook a little more so the cheese is a melted, gooey deliciousness but feel free to take it off for consumption as soon as possible.

I’m not sure what to say about the taste. It’s your standard omelet and I love omelets so that’s my lazy way of saying that it’s good. Whether you successfully flipped your omelet or not, the final taste will be rewarding.

I did get super excited about that final omelet though. I still haven’t mastered omelet cooking, but I love to eat them, no matter what they are called.