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There’s just nothing better then fried food. Actually, scratch that! There’s absolutely nothing better then fried food, topped with beef and cheese, then smothered in tomato sauce and put into layers to be enjoyed over and over again. Now THAT is the best food.

Warning Alert: This recipe is not for the dieters of the world!

Sure, I could have easily made this recipe low calorie and practically fat free, but then the taste just wouldn’t be as amazing as it currently is. And let’s face it, when you are cooking italian, did you really expect low cal and fat free? Come on, really? So throw on those yoga pants, wear that baggy shirt, and let’s get ready to make eggplant parmesan, CannizzoClutch style.

Note: I will also add a healthy version of how to make the eggplant parmesan. But beware, though it will be yummy, I personally feel that it dims compared to the original. 

Ingredients

  • Two eggplants
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Tomato Sauce (Click Here For The Recipe)
  • 20 oz shredded mozzarella (One large bag)
  • 2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 bushel of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp of salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375F

Step 2: Peal the eggplants and slice them into disk about a 1/4 in thick. You can cut it thicker or thinner depending on your preference, but in my experience most people like the 1/4 cuts. Then make an mini assembly line: one bowl and two plates. Crack and whisk the eggs in the bowl and put the bread crumbs in the plate next to it. Take the sliced eggplant, dip it in the egg and then coat them in the bread crumbs before placing the coated eggplant on the last plate of the assembly line. In a large skillet, pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer and turn the heat onto medium/high. Wait until the oil is heated up and fry the coated pieces of eggplant on both side. When the eggplant is cooked, place them on a plate with paper towels between layers.

Healthy Version: Instead of coating and frying the eggplant disks, grill them in a pan using a vegetable oil spray, such as PAM.

Step 3: In a large skillet or a pot, place in the ground chuck, basil and salt. Cook until the meat is fully brown or until you feel that it is fully cooked.

Healthy Version: Instead of ground chuck you can use lean ground turkey. This will lesson the amount of fat that is in the recipe. 

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Step 4: In a large casserole dish, it’s time to start layering! Here is the sequence of layers: Thin layer of tomato sauce, layer of fried eggplant, thin layer of sauce, thin layer of ground beef, thin layer of shredded mozzarella. These layers should be repeated until you reach the top of the casserole dish. No matter what layer is the last to reach the top of the casserole dish, alway sprinkle another layer of cheese on the very top.

Healthy Version: Instead of using full fat mozzarella, use fat free or skim mozzarella. But beware, the cheese will not melt as well as the full fat version. Yes, it will melt, but it will turn back into it’s solid form the moment it is taken out of the oven. 

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Step 5: Speaking of oven, cover the layered casserole dish with aluminum foil and put it in the preheated oven. Let the eggplant parmesan cook for 25 minutes, then remove the foil from the top and let it cook until the cheese is fully melted and little bubbles are coming from the corners. When this happens, remove from the oven and let sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. By letting it sit on the counter the layers with firm up and allow serving to be a lot less messy.

Step 6: Enjoy!

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