Friday, 1 October 2010

Baked Eggplant For A Crowd

My parents are having a big wedding anniversary celebration thing in December. There has been some discussion of what they are going to serve for food, but the plan is to have mostly Italian nummies. One thing my mom wants is to have some eggplant parmesan. And she'd like it to be with some nice in-season eggplant....
Remember the part when I said the party is in December? So the obvious solution is to bake the eggplant now and freeze it and use it in December. She brought home a whole bunch of eggplant that she's been getting from a farm stand in Hartford. And I've been cooking them!

Apparently eggplant have a tendency to be bitter? I guess I haven't really eaten enough of it to know. The way to avoid it (according to the Internet, knower of all things) is to let them sit around covered in salt for a while to draw out the moisture and then rinse it all off before cooking. I also squeezed a little extra moisture out of each and every piece before dipping it in my eggbuttter concoction and shaking it in breadcrumbs. So far I have I had two serious baking sessions, resulting in four ziploc bags in the freezer full of nice layers of baked eggplant slices. That won't be enough though, so I will be repeating the whole process later today with the 6ish new eggplant waiting in the kitchen.

I like how neat and orderly they look all baked up. Except for that last row on the right which refused to conform. If you are noticing the tiny holes in each slice that's because I used a skewer to get each piece out of the breadcrumbs to try and prevent losing to much topping and to try and avoid cross contamination between my eggbutter concoction and my breadcrumbs. I also used a skewer to flip each piece mid-baking, which took some fancy manuevering. I am proud to say the usual clumsy me did not get burned once during either baking session!

Just one weird last note...So while I was cooking I was thinking to myself how I didn't know that eggplant was called anything but eggplant until I moved to China. Where my Canadian co-workers called it aubergine. They were telling me about this vegetable for quite a while and were surprised I had never heard of it before. The same confusion happened over cilantro (which they called coriander). And to add to the confusion, for some reason for this whole entry I kept wanting to talk about how I was baking zucchini, which is SUPER WRONG. My original title for the entry said zucchini, not eggplant, and the above picture is saved as "Baked Zucchini". I blame the cold medication I'm on.

That's all for now!

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