Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Eggplant Parmesan, Low in Fat, High in Flavor

August 5th, 2011 · 13 Comments

It’s early morning and Monique is tending to the garden, picking fruits of our labor, and finding it difficult to make room in the baskets for the bounty of fresh ingredients which bless us this time of year. Strolling down the mulch path and toward the front garden, she checks into the eggplant vegetation which has been chugging along in the raised bed, and now is showing signs of profit. She found and picked two large perfect eggplants, our first in what should be several months of fruiting still ahead.

As Monique and her pickings arrived in our kitchen my first thoughts were “I know what I am going to do with this wonderful eggplant!” The garden has provided for so much treasure this spring and summer season, we are already setting our sights on our fall crops to be planted soon.

I posted another version of this recipe last year during the Lenten season because it is a no meat dish. Today’s version is a low fat but high in flavor recipe, we’ve eliminated most of the olive oil and instead of pan sautéing the breaded eggplant we are broiling them until golden brown. Resulting in a just as tasty yet healthier version of the classic preparation! If you want to take away even more calories from this dish you can use egg substitute for whole eggs, and also replace the whole mozzarella with part-skim options.

The eggplant patch, a few angles from the garden!

Eggplant Patch
Eggplant Patch
Eggplant On The Vine
Eggplant On The Vine

Taking a peek under the plant.

Taking a peek under the plant
Taking a peek under the plant

The recipe…

Ingredients
3 Lg Eggs, beaten
1 Cup Milk
1 ½ Cups Breadcrumbs
1 ½ Cups Cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp Cajun spice blend
2 large Eggplant, cut into ¼-inch slices
4 Cups Fire roasted tomato sauce, divided
2 Cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
1 Cup Parmesan cheese, divided
    Olive Oil Cooking spray

 

Procedure Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Coat 2 sheet pans with the cooking spray.
2. Arrange the sliced eggplant into a single layer on the prepared sheet pans and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant slices are soft.
3. In the meantime, combine the beaten eggs and milk in a medium bowl to create an egg wash. In another medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs and cracker crumbs with the Italian seasoning and Cajun spice blend.
4. Using two pair of tongs (one for the egg wash and one for the breadcrumbs) dip the eggplant slices one at time into the egg wash and then into the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat on all sides. Return each breaded eggplant slice to the sheet pans. Once a sheet pan is full then lightly coat each breaded slice with olive oil spray.
5. Preheat the broiler and broil the breaded eggplant slices 4 inches from the flame for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to check every minute or so and turn the pan if necessary to evenly brown the slices and not to burn others.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Using a spoon and spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Top the sauce with half of the breaded and broiled eggplant slices into one layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon and spread 1 ½ cups of the tomato sauce. Top with the remaining eggplant slices in one even layer. Spoon and spread the remaining tomato sauce and then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
8. Bake in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into eight even portions.

 

Dinner is served!

Eggplant Parmesan ServedFrom Step 7.Eggplant Parmesan Served

Another angle…

Eggplant Parmesan Plated
Eggplant Parmesan Plated

Bon appétit!
CCR
=:~)
©2011 CCR

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Tags: 9x13 pan · Recipes

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rita D K SimmonsNo Gravatar // Aug 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Wow, I am inspired by your garden firstly, I have been putting it of for a while to start growing some of my own produce so I think this will be my weekend project. Secondly your recipe sounds delicious, thanks again.

  • 2 DarrenNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I’m jealous of your garden too… as an apartment renter, I barely have enough room on my patio for basic herbs 🙁

  • 3 TiffanyNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Wow, now I can’t wait even more for our eggplant to be ready to pick! Ours are slow growing this year….. couple more weeks I think. This is the perfect recipe, thanks for sharing!

  • 4 DrickNo Gravatar // Aug 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    that eggplant is a beaut and so is this dish, love the flavor here Ryan, I know it reads like the basic but knowing your touch to the spice and the roasted sauce, you can see how developed, how rich the plated Parmesan Eggplant turned out, it sure looks likes it and I know it is better that all that… just beautiful…

  • 5 The Culinary LensNo Gravatar // Aug 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I have never seen eggplant on the vine. I like your recipe modifications as a way to lower calories. Very nice.

  • 6 marlaNo Gravatar // Aug 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

    That eggplant patch is awesome! As is this recipe 🙂

  • 7 AnnNo Gravatar // Aug 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Wow – what a wonderful recipe and your garden is inspiring. My husband an I hope to do a garden next year….I never considered mulch pathways!

  • 8 Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveNo Gravatar // Aug 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Wow! I’ve got little baby eggplants growing right now–can’t wait.

  • 9 claudia lamascoloNo Gravatar // Aug 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Wow what great pictures! Love this eggplant. But in awe of those gorgeous plants so lucky yours is fabulous …I just love planting and getting such great rewards as you have, but never have I seen better… awesome job Chef~

  • 10 ShelbyNo Gravatar // Aug 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I absolutely love eggplant parm and have been craving it so much lately. Maybe the only cure is to make it? 😉

  • 11 CurtNo Gravatar // Aug 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Sounds very healthy, and tasty to boot!

  • 12 Steph @ Cookin' CowgirlNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

    WOW! That sounds and looks delicious!!

  • 13 Mom FoodieNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I usually do mine with layers of ricotta, but am trying to cut down on cheese. I am going to try this version very soon.