Snow Storm Cooking: Eggplant Parmesan

Well, it has been a long time since writing in a Charm Offensive matter.  Lord knows, it would take a blizzard to make me pour out my cooking prowess.  Since I last left you, I have been busy with work, travels, and beginning a relationship, life gets in the way and you find yourself out of the kitchen for a while.  Thankfully, the blizzard conditions have provided some time back in the kitchen.

Since I was craving Italian food, I did not want to resort to a frozen pizza (that’s for Super Bowl and I will include the tricks tomorrow).  I had an eggplant to use from my last grocery store trip, a jar of delicious Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce with Cabernet Sauvignon, and mozzarella cheese to use.  I decided to make Eggplant Parmesan, as it is an easy vegetarian dish to make.  This recipe has received rave reviews from both the non-vegetarian and vegetarian audiences.  It was my second time using the broiler element in the oven, and I was petrified that I would burn down the house (especially after my last experience making bruschetta).  However, it turned out perfectly with no crispy burning.  Enjoy this dish with a glass of Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc, and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 Eggplant (peeled and sliced)

1/4 c. Italian Bread Crumbs

2 tsp. Olive Oil

1/3 c. finely shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cooking Spray

1 c. Marinara Sauce (I used Bertolli’s Vineyard Spaghetti Sauce)

1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Steps

Set the oven to broil.  Spray both sides of each eggplant slice with cooking spray.  Place on rack in broiler pan.  Broil with tops 4-5 inches from heat about 10 minutes, flip eggplant half way.

While eggplant is broiling, combine parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.  Toss with olive oil.

Meanwhile, heat the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.  Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

Sprinkle 1 c. of mozzarella cheese over eggplant slices.  Spoon bread crumb mixture over cheese.  Broil for a minute or until cheese is melted and crumbs are brown.  Top eggplant with sauce and remaining 1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese.

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