Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, it's not that I hate it or anything, I just tend to not go out of my way to make or eat it. Eggplant parmesan, however, is a different story, if it's made right, I'm there! I'm not going to lie to you though, making it right is a pain in the behind. If you're up to a little work though, this is a dish that's well worth it.

2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
4 eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup milk
all purpose flour
Italian breadcrumbs
oil for frying
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
spaghetti sauce (use homemade if you can)

Preheat oven to 350º. Preheat oil in deep fryer or deep frying pan to 350º.

Coat each slice of eggplant in flour, then dip in egg mixture and finally coat in breadcrumbs. Allow slices to sit for 10 minutes or so to set coating. Fry slices 4 or 5 at a time until golden brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove eggplant to wire wrack set over paper towels.

Coat the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Then layer in eggplant slices, 1/3 of the parmesan, some more sauce and 1/3 of the mozarella. Repeat layers 2 more times ending with Mozzarella. Bake at 350º for 40 minutes or until casserole is hot all the way through and cheese is slightly browned on top.

Nana's Enchiladas

When I make chili I always have a ton of leftovers, which is great on the budget, but I do get a little tired of it after the second day. So, what I normally do is freeze whatever is left over after the second day and save it for this recipe. Granted, this isn't the most authentic recipe for enchiladas, but it's yummy and easy on the wallet.

Leftover chili (at least 4 cups)
2 15 oz cans enchilada sauce (hot or mild)
18-20 6" corn tortillas
2 large onions, chopped
oil for frying
3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Mix together the leftover chili and enchilada sauce. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, saute chopped onions in about 2 Tbs oil until soft. Set aside.

In a small frying pan heat 1/4" of oil over medium-high heat. Fry each tortilla about 10 seconds, just until soft, don't let them get crisp. Remove to paper towels.

Spread about 1 cup of the chili mixture in the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish.

Place a few Tbs of cheese and onion in each tortilla and roll, place seam side down in baking dish, packing them together tightly.

Top enchiladas with any remaining onions and pour remainder of chili mixture over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.