Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant is one of the underappreciated vegetables. It scares a lot of people away, because they do not know how to cook it. It was first introduced into the U.S. by Thomas Jefferson who brought it back from France. Of course, over there, they call it aubergine, which refers to the purple variety. You can use either the purple ones or the white ones, as there is no difference in taste. Be sure, however, to choose ones that are firm, heavy and free of scars. The smaller ones are sweeter and more tender, but the larger ones are more practical!

The secret to eggplant is removing the skins and cooking it all the way through. This eliminates any bitterness. In the same family as potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, it's a healthy choice--with only 38 calories in a raw cup and a fair amount of potassium, iron and protein. For Eggplant Parmesan , you'll need:

1 ea.               eggplant
2 ea.               eggs
2 cups              milk
1 cup              flour
3 cups             bread crumbs
1 tsp              oregano
1 tsp              basil
1/2 tsp            garlic
to taste           salt and pepper

Peel the eggplant and slice it about 1/4 to 3/8's of an inch thick. Arrange three small bowls, side by side. Put the flour in one, the eggs and milk in the second, beating them lightly and in the third put your bread crumbs and spices. Take each slice and dip it first in the flour, making sure you dust it off well. Next, dip it into the eggwash and lastly, the seasoned bread crumbs. Eggplants, you see, soak up oil like a sponge and by coating them this way, it makes them less absorbant. Now you can either deep fry them or place some oil in a fry pan and cook them. When brown on both sides, place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Top them with your favorite tomato sauce and some fresh grated parmesan cheese. This is a wonderful side dish for any type of veal. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.