Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mike's Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana

Every once in awhile, we deviate from our healthy eating habits to indulge in a recipe we deem SO delicious-sounding that we absolutely must make it. I usually try to lighten it as much as possible, but sometimes it just isn't possible. Tonight's was one of those meals.

The recipe aired on the Eggplant Parm episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. It is the winning recipe, created at Mike's Deli in Brooklyn. Bobby Flay's recipe lost. After viewing this episode several times, I could no longer resist the urge to try Mike's Deli's famous recipe.

My pathetic attempt to lighten this recipe was to pan-fry the eggplant instead of deep frying. I refuse to use so much oil that it covers whatever I am cooking. But even with the pan-frying (and subsequent paper-towel drying to try to soak up extra oil), it was still very oily. There just is no way around it.

Yet all of this was worth it: our dinner was absolutely fantastic. The eggplant was cooked perfectly, everything melded together beautifully, and it was the best eggplant parm I have produced. It is also better than many restaurant versions I have had. I have to sadly admit we are not likely to make it again because of how unhealthy it is, but it was amazing just for this one time. Highly recommended!!!!

Note: The recipe advertises for the deli's products, but you're fine with regular stuff. We used two marinara sauces (Trader Joe's and Newman's Own), some storebrand sliced mozzarella, Progresso Italian-flavor bread crumbs, etc. So don't worry about that.

parm

Mike's Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana
Throwdown with Bobby Flay
Recipe courtesy Dave Grecco

Oil
2 large eggplants
All-purpose flour
4 eggs
Bread crumbs (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
1 quart marinara sauce (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
8 ounces sliced dry mozzarella (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)
4 ounces grated Romano (recommended: Arthur Avenue Italian Deli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat oil in a large pan, Dutch oven or deep-fryer.

Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Coat each side of the eggplant with the flour.

In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs and dip the eggplant into the egg to coat both sides. Then take your bread crumbs and do the same to coat each side.

Once the oil is hot, put the eggplant in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You can also use a deep-fryer and leave in for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Once all of the eggplant has been fried, get a rectangular baking pan and start the layering by adding the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, then the eggplant, more sauce, fresh mozzarella, Romano cheese, and continue to layer until you have reached the top of the pan. Top off with sauce, mozzarella, and grated Romano

Place the eggplant into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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