Monday, November 12, 2007

Grandma Lucy's Eggplant Parmesan

I love how recipes get passed from one generation to the next. Food, just like journals and diaries, can connect us with our past.

It's not surprise that I'm into this kind of thing. It's not just a food issue. Mormon's are into genealogy. It's important to us to look into our past, and find our ancestors. We believe that families can be eternal. We believe that we can enjoy the familial relationships we have in this world in the world to come.

It's not just Mormon's dig up their past, though. Many families pass recipes as part of their culture and beliefs from parent to child.

What a wonderful thing that is.

Recently some friends of mine, Frank and June Demonte shared part their food heritage with me. Originally they posted it as a comment but, I thought it was worth having a posting of its own. Consider it a 'guest chef' if you will. I've edited it slightly, but I don't think Grandma Lucy will mind.

Grandma Lucy's Eggplant Parmesan

Frank's Grandma Lucy came from Bari, Italy. She handed down some of her recipes to her daughter, and then on to Frank. This is one of them.


1 Eggplant smooth and round,skinned & sliced thin
2 Tbs. salt (for prepping the eggplant)
Italian flavored breadcrumbs to dredge [or you can mix in a bit of marjoram, oregano, and thyme with regular breadcrumbs - MF.]
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 16 oz. cans crushes tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese (low moisture)

Many people don't like eggplant because it's bitter. To remove the bitter oils, place the eggplant slices into a large colander and toss with about 2 Tbs. of salt. Place the colander over a large bowl and let it sit for about ten minutes on the counter. Rinse the eggplant slices very well and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and spread the breadcrumbs evenly in a large casserole dish. Dredge the eggplant slices in the breadcrumbs, then into the egg mixture, and then back into the breadcrumbs, to coat. (Hitting the breadcrumbs first gives the egg something more substantial to cling to, and gives you a better coating.)

Heat the olive oil in an oversized skillet. Fry the breaded eggplant in the skillet until golden brown on both sides. (You may need to add additional oil from time to time. Eggplant absorbs oil very quickly.) Lay flat on brown paper bags, or on paper towels, to drain.

Lightly brown the sliced garlic in olive oil. Add crushed tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a slight boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook for about 45 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Layer the eggplant, sauce & mozzerella cheese in a large baking dish. Cook until eggplant is hot and cheese is melted (about 20 minutes).

Serve with a side of spaghetti & salad.

For additional recipes and cooking help, be sure to visit Frank and June's website, Magnolia Housewares.

[Disclaimer - I've included links to the Demonte's website in the recipe. This was done as thanks for a new recipe. I'm not being reimbursed in any way.]


Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe and thought it was horrible. This is Italian! I do not think so!

John Newman said...

Well, not every recipe can please everyone. I didn't think it was too bad. I've certainly seen worse.

What I find interesting is that whenever someone leaves a disparaging comment on this blog, they do so anonymously. I just can't take people, who don't have the courage to at least leave a pseudonym, seriously.