Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aryeh Cooks: Eggplant Parmesan

Over the years there have been a number of food related posts.  So, I have decided to add a new segment to The Lansey Brothers' blog, Aryeh Cooks.  About once every other month I will cook something, that I would never normally even consider.  The kind of food you would only think to buy, never to make from scratch.  Additionally, I will give some quick tips and other things that I learn while cooking and if the recipes are good I will post them.  Finally, I will take suggestions as to what foodstuff to make for the next segment.

This past week I decided to make Eggplant Parmesan.  I know that this is something that lots of people do make, but to me its something to be bought, so I cooked it instead.

Eggplant is basically a culinary sponge, it soaks up any liquid you put near it; then it goes mushy.  So the first step in many eggplant recipes is to cover it in kosher salt to collapse cell walls.  In the background I have diced onions on the stove sauteing for the sauce.

I have my breading station all set up, flour, eggs and then bread crumbs mixed with spices.

There is a lot going on in this picture.  In the back I have some breaded eggplants slices ready to pan fry.  then in the middle I have some slices pan frying and the sauce pot.  In front I have one layer of sauce, then eggplant, then more sauce, then cheese.  The second layer of eggplant is in the middle of going on top of that.

The final product ready to go into the oven.  After the second layer of eggplant goes more sauce and then cheese.

In my opinion the final product did not come out as well as I would have liked.  I sliced the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices, if I was going to make this again I would use 1/4 inch slices.  Additionally, I would have put the cheese on top later in the baking so as not to overcook it.  Finally, I need to get more practice coating things in bread crumbs.  This is the conclusion to the first Aryeh Cooks post, please give suggestions as to what I should make for the next one.


  1. Salt doesn't collapse cell walls. It pulls the cell membrane away from them by plasmolysis but the walls remain intact. That's how the little critters got called cells in first place; Hooke peering through his 'scope at cork noted the resemblance to monks' cells. What he was seeing was the cell wall. We know this because he sketched it.
    The process is pretty cool to watch. Hypertonic solution outside the cell forces osmosis to run backwards, down water's concentration gradient. If you're doing this to a unicellular organism that has a pump, it starts working harder to avoid dehydration, but you can always add more salt. I felt guilty afterward, like a bully.
    What it might accomplish is priming the eggplant to absorb new flavors.
    Or salt just makes it taste good.

  2. Yeah, I think thinner slices would help. You sort of want to minimize the moisture left inside the frying thing.

    I suggest you try making... fried wontons!

  3. Stuffed cabbage or spanakopita