SAN DIEGO — When I worked at Palermo's in La Mesa this was a very popular item on the menu, it came with a side of Capellini tossed with Olive oil, Garlic, crushed Red Peppers, and Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago and they have since retired, but I know you can make this recipe, you just need to believe!
Separately, if you would rather go out for a good Eggplant Parmesan sandwich, try Poma's in Ocean Beach. This place has been around forever and Lenard's son is still using the family recipes!
- 1 or 2 Eggplants
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 Jar Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 cup Canola oil
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp. Kosher salt, plus for seasoning
- 1 tsp Black pepper
Start by slicing the eggplant either lengthwise or across in 1/2" to 3/4" slices, and lightly season with salt.
Whip eggs and water for egg wash in a separate container, and combine Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt, tsp Black Pepper, and 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning.
Heat a heavy skillet with 1 cup of Canola oil to medium / medium-high heat, lightly flour both sides of the Eggplant, shake off excess, dip in Egg Wash, and then transfer to breadcrumbs making sure both sides are evenly coated. It works best if you use one hand for wet and the other for dry. Place the breaded Eggplant in oil and cook till golden brown and then turn, about 4 - 5 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed.
Move Eggplant to a paper towel to pull off the oil. Preheat your oven to 350° and warm your Marinara sauce, on a cookie sheet lay out your cooked Eggplant, ladle with about a ¼ cup of Marinara, cover with Mozzarella, and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned slightly golden brown on top.
Serve as a main or as a side sprinkled with chopped Italian Parsley. My wife Molly likes crushed Red Pepper as well!
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