Monday, August 3, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan sandwiches with tomato, olive, mushroom paste.

Forgive me, foodies, for I have sinned. It's been a while since my last post...

I've been pinching pennies like mad lately. This recipe comes from partially internet scavenged recipes and stuff I figured out whilst digging in the sad back corners of the pantry.

I picked up some eggplant when it was on sale $1 each. The tomato paste was 89 cents, the mushrooms cost another $1, as did the can of pitted black olives. Pick your own sliced cheese, I've tried both sharp cheddar and provolone and prefer the cheddar. Do what grooves you. If'n you dig mozzarella or pepper jack, go ahead. The rest of the ingredients are all things that I keep on hand.

I made this with the specific intent of freezing it and was able to get three meals and a lunch for 3 people. Only two of the meals had the sauce, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Personally, I prefer to keep the skin on my veg. The skins on the eggplant did NOT freeze well, so bye bye skins.

"Special sauce"

1 can Tomato paste with Basil and Oregano
1 c white mushrooms
1 can pitted black olives

Chop the olives and mushrooms in your handy dandy food chopper until they are minced finely but not ground into a paste. Mix with the tomato paste. Add a sprinkle of italian herbs and 1tsp sugar to cut the acid. Cook on low/medium until the paste goes from red to brownish. Stir and remove from heat.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 medium/large eggplant
2 eggs
2.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Adobo criollo
Olive oil

Skin and slice the eggplant into 1/4" to 1/2" thick rounds. Try not to go thicker than 1/2". Beat the eggs. Mix dry ingredients.

Put some olive oil in a non stick pan and let it get good and hot.
Dip eggplant in egg, dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, fry in the lightly oiled pan until it's a lovely deep golden brown and flip em to get the other side. Place on a plate to let them rest. Keep going until you're done with all the eggplant.If you notice the pan getting dry, hit it with another drizzle of oil and keep rocking and rolling.

Two slices per person, bag tag and chuck em in the freezer - except what you'll be eating tonight and maybe lunch tomorrow. Divide the sauce in half and freeze that for later.


Lightly spread butter on sliced bread, add italian herbs and garlic powder. Toast em in the oven until nice and crisp. Spread special sauce on top, add a round of the eggplant, add slice of cheese, spread with more special sauce, top with a light sprinkle of parmesan. You can toss it back in the oven for a couple of minutes to get the cheese nice and melty if'n you want to. The eggplant should still be warm enough to melt the cheese. Yummy, open faced, veggie wonderfulness!


Once the eggplant is defrosted, you can refry the rounds on a hot non stick pan. You won't need to oil the pan this time. Once that is complete, assemble as you would normally.

Ok, but now I'm out of that tomato stuff...

You can always make more, Grasshopper. Or you can make some veg pasta and toss a can of sauce on it, throw the refried rounds on top with cheese and herbs, bake it and grub out on the normal version.