One ingredient that is hard to cook without is bread-crumbs. I have only had gluten-free bread-crumbs one time, I haven't been able to find any since. I have tried to make them from dried-out gluten-free bread, but it never worked well. I wasn't about to let a lack of bread crumbs keep me from having breaded fried dishes like chicken parmesan and one of my favorites, eggplant parmesan! In place of the bread-crumbs I used a combination of dried herbs, fine-graded parmesan cheese and my secret ingredient, potato chips! Last night when I made eggplant parmesan I went to the deli section and bought three, one ounce bags of plain Lays potato chips, I crushed them up right in the bag before mixing them with the herbs, spices and cheese. We had company for the meal, and they never suspected that they had anything besides normal bread-crumbs until I told them after the meal. I would be curious to find out if anyone out there has used other bread-crumb substitutes successfully? Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, but it needs to be prepared correctly or it can be bitter and mushy. After washing and cutting the eggplant (into 1/2" thick circular discs) I always sprinkle salt over both sides, and stand them on end, leaning against the side of a bowl to drain for at least 30 minutes. Doing this pulls out the bitterness of the eggplant and drains off excess moisture, preventing it from becoming mushy.
I like to serve my eggplant parmesan over a bed of pasta with a homemade tomato sauce, with fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil. However it's good without the pasta and with sauce from a jar (if you must) as well.
2 medium Eggplants
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
2 Tbsp Dried parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
@ 3 oz plain potato chips- crushed fine
1 Tbsp black pepper
salt to taste
• Wash the eggplant, discard the top and bottom. Lay it on it's side and slice it in about 1/2 inch round pieces.
• Sprinkle all of the pieces liberally with salt on both sides, and drain for about 1/2 hour standing up, leaning against the sides of a colander, or leaning against the outside of a bowl on the cutting board.
• While the eggplant is draining, mix together the basil, oregano, garlic, parsley, parmesan cheese, crushed potato chips, salt and pepper in a large bowl, set aside.
• Pour the 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour into a dish, set aside.
• Beat together the eggs in a bowl, set aside.
• Using a paper towel, dab away the moisture and salt from the eggplant slices, set pieces on paper towel.
• Now we'll set up a "breading station" line up the flour plate, eggs, and bread-crumbs in that order, Dip each piece of eggplant in the flour, covering it, then in the eggs, covering it again, and then place in the bread-crumb bowl, sprinkling the bread-crumbs over each side, set each piece aside on a plate. Repeat the same process for all of the pieces.
• Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a pan on medium until its hot. carefully place 3 or four pieces of breaded eggplant (depending on the size of the pan) in the hot oil. Cook on one side until the bottom becomes golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). carefully flip the pieces over and cook for a few more minutes until the other side becomes golden brown. Once done place on a plate with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
• Repeat process with the remaining pieces of eggplant, replenish and reheat the olive oil between batches as it will absorb into the eggplant while cooking.
• Serve with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and/ or over Gluten-free pasta and MANGIA! (Eat! - in Italian)