Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 156 - Upside Down, Inside Out Eggplant Parm

Yup. You heard right. If you Tuesday's post, I mention having fun with your fruits and veggies. You can make any regular meal into something fun, playful and interactive. Some times this only requires a different cooking method or dish. But when you're getting tired of the same old same old--it makes eating your veggies (fruits) fun and interesting. Try this...

Upside Down, Inside Out Eggplant Parmesan

Begin with individual ramekins like the ones pictured below by Corningware. (These are 7 oz sized rounded square ceramic dishes and are wonderful! I found mine at Target... pronounced Tar-zhay where I live.) You can use your favorite eggplant parmesan recipe and just arrange it in the dishes for a different presentation. I like to 'deconstruct' the dish a bit and put it back together in a new way.

My method and recipe (per individual dish):
  • 5-7 slices of eggplant (sliced a  bit more than 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 slice of crusty bread
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, basil garlic powder to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss eggplant with 1/2 tsp salt to coat and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Using a paper towel pat the eggplant dry and set aside. 
  3. Place a spoonful of marinara in individual ramekin; lay one slice of eggplant on the sauce.
  4. Add 1/3 of ricotta and spread with the back of a spoon over the slice of eggplant then add 1/3 of mozzarella and a spoonful of marinara.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until your ingredients are all in the dish.
  6. Place onto a baking sheet and into oven for 25 minutes, or untill bubbling around the edges.
  7. Brush the olive oil over one side of the bread evenly. Sprinkle salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder to taste over the oil. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and  into the oven for 10-15 minutes till crisp and lightly golden.
Once you have removed your ramekins and bread from the oven it's time to have fun! Allow to cool for 10 minutes then place your bread atop the ramekin; put a small dinner plate facedown over the bread and ramekin; carefully, with a potholder, invert the plate and ramekin and gently pull the ramekin away. Check out my pics below...

Voila! Upside down!
(pssst! why did she say inside out? oh! because the breading isn't on the eggplant like usual... it starts off on the side, then it winds up underneath! now i get it!)

My tip: I do not like leaving the skins on the eggplant. They ruin the texture for me. I prefer to peel them with my apple peeler before using them in anything. Just my opinion, seeing as many recipes out there leave the skin on. I vote vote to take it off. : )

Tomorrow: Some of my kitchen 'tools' that make preparing healthy food easier and faster. Nothing fancy-schmancy here. Just taking some shortcuts- and who doesn't love a good shortcut?

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