So after eating some sandwiches at weddings, making some meat balls with my mom, and having my fill of dunkin donuts iced coffee, Emily and I were finally back in Colorado, but little did my roommates know that I had brought them a couple of surprises….
I smuggled a couple of garden fresh eggplants from my parents garden… well not really smuggled, since there was nothing illegal about it, and they were given to me because my folks had way too many eggplants to know what to do with. The other surprise was a little bit more along the lines of a body in a bag….
I’ll get the second one overwith first. it really has nothing to do with sandwiches, but it makes me happy. While at Dunkin Donuts, I ran into my friend Duncan (i know… a little odd) and he wasn’t feeling so well… so I took him home.
He also fits in a suitcase really well.
So after the novelty of an inflatable dunkin donuts iced coffee wore off (well, it still hasn’t) I decided to start making use of the eggplants and we decided to make a real family dinner.
It went a little something like this:
2 large Eggplants, Sliced, but not too big.
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp salt
fresh basil and oregano from the garden
a whole basket of tomatoes from the garden
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
10 oz shredded mozzerella
4 large sub rolls
6 tbsp minced garlic
I started by stewing the tomatoes, mixing in a little bit of tomato paste, some spices, some pepper, an onion, garlic, some red peppers, some green peppers, some sugar, some olive oil, and some more peppers. And then some salt. I let this sit for about an hour as it reduced and made a pretty tasty marinara sauce. I didn’t want it to be too overpowering, but with the fresh tomatoes and spices, it had a lot of good flavors to it.
While this was cooking, I mixed together the eggs, vanilla, milk, salt, pepper, and soaked the eggplant. Then I put them in with the breadcrumbs, the italian seasonings, some of the parmesan, the garlic, and some of the other chopped spices from the garden (a touch of mint and sage… mmmmmm). After shaking the breadcrumbs all over the counter and the floor, as well as getting some on the eggplant, I tossed it in the cast iron skillet with the hot oil and fried those puppies up….
After they were all fried up, i added a little bit more parm, and coated them in mozzarella, and tossed them in the oven to bake a little while. As they were toasting, I had the subs sliced, slathered them with butter and a thin coating of olive oil, added the minced garlic, and some more spices (mint, oregano, basil). They were done in about 4-6 minutes, and the eggplants got pulled out when the cheese was starting to melt and bubble just a little bit (350ºF for about 10 minutes).
Then, the sandwich process was started….
Fried and breaded eggplant:
The Sauce: (remember, it is home made from the garden….)
Layering it up…. bread, sauce, eggplant, more sauce, more cheese, more bread… and of course, more garlic and more yumminess…
and finally, the completeness of the eggplant parm that was made with the eggplant that was flown first class via Jet Blue, where everyone and their eggplants fly first class.
Overall Rating: A
Pros: Everything but the bread came fresh from the ground. Tomatoes were pulled from the vine, the eggplants had a very rich flavor, and the herbs and spices from the garden really make your mouth water. While the bread was store-bought, it was very tasty bread.
Cons: I went a little heavy on the olive oil on my piece, and towards the end it was sort of like eating a spoonfull of olive oil. The sandwich was a little messy, but you cannot have a good eggplant parm and not need a napkin at the end of the meal.