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NFT: It’s Been So Serious Here Lately- Let’s Talk Eggplant Parm.

CRinCA : 1/12/2022 9:34 pm
Alright so let’s go- is it Parmesan or Parmagiana (The latter in my world.)

Skin on or off? (As above.)

Baked or fried? (The latter if good olive oil of course. Nothing compares.)

Mozzarella or provolone? (For me the sharper the provolone the better.)

Plated or on a sandwich. (If the latter, good Italian bread/rolls. There’s no other answer.)

Of course the sauce should be your fave. What am I missing?



one good eggplant parm recipe  
Producer : 1/12/2022 9:43 pm : link
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Matty Matheson's Excellent Eggplant Parm - ( New Window )
After slicing the eggplant, sprinkle a little bit of  
CheddarPlax : 1/12/2022 9:45 pm : link
Kosher salt on each side, and let them sit out on paper towels for 20-30 minutes. Draws out the starch and makes them nice and soft.

I need hard chewy eggplant like I need an infected scrotum.
another good eggplant parm recipe  
Producer : 1/12/2022 9:46 pm : link
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the GREATEST EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA - ( New Window )
Minor point of clarification regarding the skin-  
CRinCA : 1/12/2022 9:47 pm : link
Not the biggest fan since my Italian mom/grandmother always peeled them, I can deal with the skins as pretty much every restaurant I’ve ever ordered them at includes the skin.
I'll play  
mushroom : 1/12/2022 9:49 pm : link
Skinned unless eggplant is very fresh and young. Fried eggplant but thick slices want to taste the eggplant not just the breading.Also fry eggplant Al demte. Mozzarella with a little provolone too much provolone overpowers the dish. Usually like it plated but a sub is great too.
I grow a ton of eggplant every year  
Mattman : 1/12/2022 9:52 pm : link
The key is to pick them small and they aren’t bitter or tough. You don’t even have to salt them. Peel, slice Bread and fry in olive oil. My wife makes hers with thinly sliced ham and sauce from our home grown San marzanos.
RE: I grow a ton of eggplant every year  
Producer : 1/12/2022 9:54 pm : link
In comment 15550373 Mattman said:
Quote:
The key is to pick them small and they aren’t bitter or tough. You don’t even have to salt them. Peel, slice Bread and fry in olive oil. My wife makes hers with thinly sliced ham and sauce from our home grown San marzanos.


What time should I be there Friday night?

I'm a carnivore  
pjcas18 : 1/12/2022 9:54 pm : link
but of course I'll still eat a good eggplant parm occasionally (on friday's during lent).

has to be fried to be really good IMO. and needs to be crispy. People will always say they can bake it and get it crispy but they can't - to my standards at least.

I am like you CR I prefer no skin, but I'll tolerate skin since I usually have no choice.

agree on provolone too.
I prefer to peel them  
Greg from LI : 1/12/2022 11:16 pm : link
Love eggplant but never liked their skins. I fry mine lightly breaded. I also like to slice them vertically, so I get fairly thin, long slices. It comes out almost a bit like lasagna that way.

Biggest thing for me is not using too much sauce. Can get too soggy otherwise. I prefer plated, but sandwiches are ok.
I've made it a dozen ways, for sure. My current is:  
Bill in UT : 1/13/2022 12:00 am : link
From what I've seen some chefs do, I zebra peel the eggplant the long way. Cut it in circles, about 1/2 thick. I don't salt it, I've never really perceived a problem with bitterness. Flour/egg/Italian flavored breadcrumbs. Fry to golden. I make my own sauce and simmer it down until very thick, so I don't end up with water in the tray. I use provolone, mozz (usually hardish blocks that I grate, not fresh) and then small-grate some parm on top. Finish in oven at 350. I make individual portions in gratin dishes rather than a big batch in a baking dish.
RE: I've made it a dozen ways, for sure. My current is:  
Bill in UT : 1/13/2022 12:01 am : link
In comment 15550512 Bill in UT said:
Quote:
From what I've seen some chefs do, I zebra peel the eggplant the long way. Cut it in circles, about 1/2 thick. I don't salt it, I've never really perceived a problem with bitterness. Flour/egg/Italian flavored breadcrumbs. Fry to golden. I make my own sauce and simmer it down until very thick, so I don't end up with water in the tray. I use provolone, mozz (usually hardish blocks that I grate, not fresh) and then small-grate some parm on top. Finish in oven at 350. I make individual portions in gratin dishes rather than a big batch in a baking dish.


oh, and talking eggplant parm IS serious
Bill in UT  
mushroom : 1/13/2022 4:41 am : link
Glad you mentioned simmering down the sauce.its key to good dish. No wet soggy eggplant Parm for me.
I prefer to  
Fred-in-Florida : 1/13/2022 5:25 am : link
peel it.

and I like it much better fried but sometimes I get 'agita' from fried foods so I bake it.

The bread is the most important. Here in Florida the bread sucks. (Like the Pizza and Bagels must be the water).
I go to Publix and get their hogey rolls and slightly toast them.

BTW its GRAVY not sauce. LOL

Made a big pot yesterday so guess what's on the menu for tonight!

Great timing!!!!
Homemade it’s  
mattlawson : 1/13/2022 7:34 am : link
Peeled
Sliced circles
Salted and toweled
Fried in good evoo
Prov in between
Sauces
Pecorino and cheese on top to bake


Now, I’ve had it sliced lengthwise, battered and fried, baked with cheese in between and only sauced when plated and that is also very good.
i am biased but my mom's eggplant parm is the best I have ever had  
Jints in Carolina : 1/13/2022 7:51 am : link
no skin, fried, mozzarella.

It is unbelievable plated or a sandwich the nest day.
RE: i am biased but my mom's eggplant parm is the best I have ever had  
Jints in Carolina : 1/13/2022 7:52 am : link
In comment 15550627 Jints in Carolina said:
Quote:
no skin, fried, mozzarella.

It is unbelievable plated or a sandwich the nest day.


next not nest
In the food world  
UConn4523 : 1/13/2022 8:07 am : link
nothing is more hilarious to me than over-pronunciations of foreign words (think Giada). So it’s Parmesan for me.
And not shot it’s gravy  
UConn4523 : 1/13/2022 8:08 am : link
that’s brown and goes on turkey.
we're back to the neverending gravy v. sauce debate huh  
Greg from LI : 1/13/2022 9:02 am : link
Both of my grandpa's parents came over on the boat. As he explained it, the difference between sauce and gravy was meat. Gravy was simmered with meat, sauce wasn't. Good enough for me. I don't understand why some people get so exercised over this anyway.
here's how I do it  
Del Shofner : 1/13/2022 9:06 am : link
no breading
Link - ( New Window )
Parmesan  
pjcas18 : 1/13/2022 9:06 am : link
is a kind of cheese (originally from Parma, Italy and formally named Parmigiano-Reggiano commonly referred to as parmesan), parmigiana is a cooking style (where a main ingredient is cheese).

I have never seen anyone from a heavy Italian area like the Northeast say they are making (or eating) eggplant parmesan.

but mostly I just use parm - chicken parm, eggplant parm, veal parm, etc. so who cares, lol.

this is just how I think of it at least.

RE: we're back to the neverending gravy v. sauce debate huh  
UConn4523 : 1/13/2022 9:13 am : link
In comment 15550737 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
Both of my grandpa's parents came over on the boat. As he explained it, the difference between sauce and gravy was meat. Gravy was simmered with meat, sauce wasn't. Good enough for me. I don't understand why some people get so exercised over this anyway.


I think its a more interesting debate than half the football topics on this board as of late. I've made my case, gravy is brown and to add, usually thickened. This comes from an Italian with grandparents who said gravy instead of sauce - didn't make sense growing up, doesn't make sense now.
Parmigiana is routinely called parmesan or parm  
Bill in UT : 1/13/2022 9:33 am : link
But I do believe there's a preparation with just chicken, sauce and grated parm that is called chicken or eggplant parmesan
the secret is to double dip after the first fry  
gtt350 : 1/13/2022 9:54 am : link
,
Here's a recipe for a real eggplant parmesan  
Bill in UT : 1/13/2022 10:52 am : link
from Lidia Bastianich

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
Flour
Marinara sauce
Grated parm cheese
oil

Directions:
Preheat over to 375
Cut off end of eggplant, peel strips of skin away, leaving zebra look. Cut about 1/2 inch thick, along long axis.
Lightly flour and fry to golden brown.
Put some sauce on bottom, then eggplant, sauce and cheese. Repeat to make stacks.
Bake, covered by foil, 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until browned, about another 20 minutes.
RE: Parmesan  
NINEster : 1/13/2022 11:35 am : link
In comment 15550744 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
is a kind of cheese (originally from Parma, Italy and formally named Parmigiano-Reggiano commonly referred to as parmesan), parmigiana is a cooking style (where a main ingredient is cheese).

I have never seen anyone from a heavy Italian area like the Northeast say they are making (or eating) eggplant parmesan.

but mostly I just use parm - chicken parm, eggplant parm, veal parm, etc. so who cares, lol.

this is just how I think of it at least.


I first read your "heavy Italian area like the Northeast" as in northern Italy....haha.

The thing to note here is that in Italy, "Parmigiana" is eggplant parmigiana, and only that. The idea of it being chicken/veal/sausage/meatball/etc. is never considered and bothers Italians.

Personally, I eat both (whatever is good is good, that simple to me), and while Italian Americans are free to do whatever they want, it would bother me if they felt they had a say in Italian cuisine "purity" (and I'm Italian American myself). In fairness to Italian-American cuisine, there's a very good reason why it evolved in the US, as those who opened restaurants had to make compromises to satisfy their American customers -- spaghetti & meatballs is one of those that come to mind.

Eggplant parm is commonly available in NYC Italian restaurants and even pizzerias. When done right, delicious.

Good OP.



Is anyone in the Northeast  
SomeFan : 1/13/2022 11:47 am : link
finding good eggplant in January? I have not looked recently.
CRinCA - for methe answer to your questions above  
smshmth8690 : 1/13/2022 12:00 pm : link
is YES! I have never met a version of Eggplant Parmesan that I didn't like. It's my favorite dish.
I prefer peeled eggplant, sliced into rounds (like meat, cut across the grain) flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs. I prefer unseasoned breadcrumbs, also matzoh meal, and even panko, although I run the panko through the food processor to break it into finer pieces. Sauce, Marinara made with good tomatoes, only I don't cook it for hours, just about 30 minutes or so. Cheese, I prefer whole milk mozzarella, but not fresh mozzarella, and of course a good amount of Pecorino Romano, or Reggiano.
I now know what I am going to post on the Bill's weekly weekend cooking thread.
Prefer chicken or veal parm  
Jimmy Googs : 1/13/2022 12:50 pm : link
breaded, fried, mozz and in a nice soft hoagie roll with just enough sauce not to make a mess.



RE: Prefer chicken or veal parm  
Producer : 1/13/2022 12:52 pm : link
In comment 15551405 Jimmy Googs said:
Quote:
breaded, fried, mozz and in a nice soft hoagie roll with just enough sauce not to make a mess.




helluva nice picture, Googs.. but here in New York we call that a hero roll.
RE: RE: Prefer chicken or veal parm  
Jimmy Googs : 1/13/2022 1:41 pm : link
In comment 15551412 Producer said:
Quote:
In comment 15551405 Jimmy Googs said:


Quote:


breaded, fried, mozz and in a nice soft hoagie roll with just enough sauce not to make a mess.






helluva nice picture, Googs.. but here in New York we call that a hero roll.


haha...wasn't trying to give Philly any props
I don't like speaking for Drew  
Bill in UT : 1/13/2022 2:39 pm : link
but I'd bet both of us would like some on a nice roll. Ain't gonna happed, tho. Well, maybe it's worth using a cheat day for. :) I've given up the spaghetti I always used to eat it with and miss that, too
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