Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Local Flavors

My garden is growing well, but some plants have been lacking. I should have eggplants and peppers by now but I don't even have flowers on my plants. This growing season got started late, heat waves, heavy rain and cool weather are not helping my warm loving plants grow to their full potential. So today I ended up buy an eggplant from a local farm. They had mostly stuff I am growing well, but I do get my corn from them. I don't really have to room for corn in my small garden. I love eggplant parmesan. It is one of my favorite meals and now I that I have perfected my recipe it has become my husbands too. There is one trick that makes the perfect eggplant parm. You need to salt the eggplants and let them sit to remove some of the water. This makes the eggplant cook nice and tender and that good Italian restaurant flavor that mine was always missing. I thought I could do with out salting to save on sodium, some recipes call for salting, some don't. But it does not taste right with out salting. I cut the eggplant thin, lay them on a plate,sprinkle the eggplant with salt, top them with a paper towel then top it with another plate to put pressure and help draw out the water. Let it sit for an hour. Next step is the frying. Get 3 shallow bowls, fill the first one with flour, the second one with 2 eggs, lightly beaten, then the third bowl with bread crumbs. Heat oil in a pan, have the oil come up maybe 1/8 or 1/4 inch. While the oil is heating dip the eggplant in the flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. Fry them for about 2 min on each side, til golden brown. The place in a baking pan that has some marinara sauce on the bottom. Make a bottom layer with eggplant. Top the eggplant with marinara sauce, the fresh mozzarella cheese(local if you can find it). I also sprinkle some real parmesan cheese on too. Repeat the layers til you are out of eggplant. Bake covered in a preheated over at 350F. Bake 15-20, uncover and bake an additional 5-10 min til the cheese is nice a bubbly. Serve with pasta. I'm hoping soon to make this with my own sauce. Eggplant parm, one of my favorite local treats, from local sources.

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