EGG PLANT PARMAGIAN -Tony Perrino, Saratoga New York

Our dear Tony Perrino STILL finds time to share his favorite Christmas and any time of year recipe for Egg Plant Parmagian.  He is one of the funniest and most creative people I know so don't expect this recipe to be conventional and HEY! Where's yours? (Hey! Where's mine?)  Hey! Try this one.

 I have a great dish my Mom and I always made every Christmas, you can put it up on the site as my Mother's favorite Christmas dish, (among many)  this is for "Eggplant Parmagian"  again I don't use recipes, so????

    4-8 Large ripe Eggplant, sliced precisely 1/4" thick, Lightly salted, placed on double layer of paper towel on Large round plate...cover the top with another double layer of paper towel, add another layer of eggplant etc.... until all slices are lightly salted, stacked and covered in layers with paper towel, approx. 4 layers per plate, works well....then take Large Stock pot filled with water and place on top of the eggplant, to press out the excess liquid, and compress and create the texture desired..... leave for at least 45 minutes. Then remove Layers of paper towels, and stack eggplant on plates. next prepare egg batter, consisting of several eggs,(depending on how much eggplant to bread?) a tblspn of water, and approx.3-4 tblspns of flour wisked in vigorusly until smooth, add salt, pepper to taste. , prepare this in a low flat bowl, and fill another similar bowl with fresh Bread and or Cracker crumbs, it is a nice variation to "add" some corn meal to the crumbs as well .

   Coat the eggplant in the batter, allowing excess to run off, then press into the crumbs, and repeat that process, "double coating each one. Next, mix equal parts of vegetable or peanut oil with Olive oil, (this tempers Olive oils low temperature viscosity characteristic.) in a good heavy quality "rolled Stainless Steel" or Cast Iron fry pan, quickly brown each side of the eggplant and remove to a double layer of paper towel, on a round plate, or plater, to absorb excess oil.

   At this point, one of the very KEY elements to the level of quality of the dish is dependant on the Marinara sauce used, to coat the layers of Eggplant as they are stacked in the baking dish.....Our Sauce , is of course, a secret sworn to by a code of death from several generation before myself in a small town in Northern Italy....your Sauce,????? Good Luck, Let your conscience be your guide, and if you use Jar sauce , you better not let me find out about it!!!!!!!!

   As you assemble the layers of eggplant with a very light coating of (what you are now wishing was MY SAUCE LOL) also grate some fresh imported Italian parmigiano over the layer, reapeat this proces until the dish is about a half inch from the top, then grate more parm. on top, then a layer of Mozzarella, has become an americanized traditional favorite, and another grating of parmagian on top, bake in a 400 degree oven until the cheeze is golden brown....depends on the oven,Altitude, gas or electric????? I don't use timers either.

Love Tony 

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