Someone I know wanted me to post the recipe for this. This was one of those things tho that I just didn't have written down. Good thing I made some the other day so the recipe was still fresh in my mind. Please be aware that the amounts are vague because it depends on how many eggplant you use and the size of them. (This was all the pictures I got. I forgot to take pics of the process. This was after dinner lol)
Breadcrumbs or cracker meal crumbs
S & P
Oil for frying
I have given you a list because it all depends on how much eggplant you have to cook up. I generally buy 2-3 large ones. I will either make one big 13 x 9 pan and a smaller one or I save the rest to freeze. Then next time I don't have to fry them all up again , I can just assemble a small one.
I use breadcrumbs because I don't always have cracker meal in the house. My MIL used that and I really like it but sometimes I cant find it up here. And I am not going to start grinding crackers when I have to do this. It takes long enough! I have two bowls going in the process, one that holds eggs beaten well with water and the other holding the breadcrumb mix. The one with eggs, I add about a half cup of water to two eggs and beat well. You want a thin egg wash. To the breadcrumb mix I add s & p to taste and dried oregano. I would say to about two c. breadcrumbs you might add 2 tsp. oregano. I will say that depending on how many eggplant you make , you will have to replenish this mix of both. I made two eggplant the other nite and had to make the mixes twice.
Peel your eggplant. Some people don't and we don't like it but if you do then leave it. I find it bitter. Slice in about 1/4 in. thick slices. In a frying pan put your oil. I use a mix of reg. veggie oil and then add some extra virgin olive oil for flavor. These are generally the only two oils I have around the house and Xvirgin is to expensive to fry with. So adding a few TB. each time helps flavor it. Then dip in egg wash and then in breadcrumbs. When the oil is hot, fry them till golden brown. It doesn't matter if they are not cooked thru, they will finish baking later. Drain on paper towels.
You can use your own spaghetti sauce or make some. I often keep Classico Tomato Basil sauce around because it tastes like the sauce I used to can from my garden. Its a base sauce and you can add other things. I did happen to can some this yr so I used my own. I saute several chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil. Then I add the sauce to the pan. I add chopped parsley and more basil and S & P to that and let it cook awhile. It should be very loose so add water to it. It will thicken up on the eggplant so if you don't make it loose now , the eggplant will be dry.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once all the eggplant is fried and the sauce is made its time to layer. Slice your mozzarella cheese thin. How much is up to you. For the two lg. eggplant I fried I used a two lb. block of cheese. I also grate fresh Romano as I go on each layer too but you can use Parmesan if you want.
First a layer of sauce in the pan, then eggplant, cheeses and then more sauce. Continue in layers ending with sauce till all is used up or pan is full. Sometimes I have 3 layers, last nite I had four. Just don't fill to the brim cuz it does swell and will spit all over the oven. Cover with foil and bake till cheese is melted and its hot in the center 45 min. - 1hr. I cut this into squares to serve. Leftovers can be frozen and reheated. I often make a big casserole full so I can have leftovers. Makes the nights I don't want to cook or don't have time to cook, real ez then. I just pop it from the freezer and either let it sit to thaw or microwave it a bit to thaw. Then reheat in the oven.
**** You can bake the breaded eggplant on oiled baking sheets but I don't like it. I find the oil may get absorbed into the eggplant but there"s not enough of it to give it much flavor. Just seems drier too. Since we don't eat it very often and since I don't fry much, I make it the traditional way.