Oh, oh, oh! Is this ever a favorite! And is it ever a naughty little classic. If you hadn’t guessed by the Give Me The Simple Life post… I’m very into the classics. Very. I’m also married to the King of Casseroles so anything in that department must find its way onto our cooking calendar each week. Have I ever told you what my husband calls me? “Kitchen Six”
Six — refers to a military call sign (used in radio communication) meaning “commander”
So I am the kitchen commander, y’all. Saluting is acceptable and encouraged.
Back to the eggplant.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 medium eggplant (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled & cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slice, squeeze the juices out of the eggplant slices until dry
- 4-5 cups crushed seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Pepperidge Farms stuffing/dressing — crumbled)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 cups mayonnaise (make your very own here)
- olive oil (for frying)
- garlic salt
- 1 pound grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6-7 cup marinara (I use homemade but you can use whatever floats your boat)
Prepare two bowls — one with mayonnaise, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt and the other with seasoned breadcrumbs. Dip the eggplant slices in the mayonnaise mixture and then coat with breadcrumbs. In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 400 degrees F on a deep frying thermometer. (The oil must be heated to 400 degrees F. so that the breaded eggplant, when added, will drop the temperature of the oil to the proper frying temperature of 375 degrees F.) Fry the breaded eggplant on both sides until nice and browned.
Fry until nice and brown, set on paper towels or brown paper bags to drain.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush a 15 x 10- x 2-inch-baking dish with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1/3 of the marinara sauce and arrange half of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with another 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter 1/3 of the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella over the sauced eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella. Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle with some Italian seasoning. Serve immediately.
NOTE: You can fry the eggplant, drain, and then bread and layer in the baking dish. Both work very well. If you decide to fry then bread — increase your baking temperature to 400 degrees F.