There are so many delicious ways to prepare eggplant from baking or stuffing, using it in casseroles to broiling it to enjoy in dips. One of my favorite dishes is eggplant Parmesan with plenty of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese in a herb-seasoned tomato sauce. Though that version is delectable, I made another tasty dinner with my eggplant Parmesan Americano recipe substituting all that gooey mozzarella cheese with slices of American cheese.
My eggplant Parmesan Americano recipe doesn’t use seasoned bread crumbs or involve just frying the slices before assembling the dish. I like to make an egg-milk batter to dip each slice that I previously floured to coat again.
Some people hate eggplant. They complain that it has a bitter taste. But this member of the nightshade family has so much to also offer nutritionally with all its fiber, potassium, vitamins C, A and B6 besides a low calorie count. It also has protective plant compounds that act as antioxidants to keep cancer cells away.
Regardless, if you happen to count yourself as one of those people that shy away from eggplants, then the reason could be that you didn’t salt the eggplant first. What I do is after peeling the eggplant and cutting into slices, I salt both sides of each slice. This extra step will help make the eggplant “sweat” to rid itself of that nasty bitterness.
Next, I stack the salted slices in a bowl and cover with a small plate and something heavier to weigh it down. Usually, I do this in the morning because you want to give the salt several hours to draw all those harsh juices from the eggplant.
By the time I am ready to cook dinner, my eggplant is ready to work with after I just drain off the liquid in my bowl. Some people skip this step, but it greatly improves the taste so the eggplant shines through and not that bitterness.
Eggplant Parmesan Americano
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant peeled and sliced (about 1/2-inch thick)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/3 to ½ cups of flour depending on the size of your eggplant
- 1 can 15-oz. tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoons of dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoons of dried garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground marjoram
- 12-14 slices of American cheese
- shaker of salt for sprinkling each slice on both sides
About an hour before I am ready to start frying and assembling my eggplant, I make my own herb-tomato sauce. I just mix the ingredients together and simmer to give those herbs time to blend.
When I’m ready to start cooking, I just heat the oil in a large skillet until hot.
Dip the floured coated slices into the egg-milk batter. Afterwards, place each coated slice into your hot skillet and cook over medium heat, occasionally turning them over until golden brown. Add more oil if necessary.
Transfer your finished fried slices to an ungreased baking dish. I lightly spoon some of the herb-tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Next, I put a layer of the eggplant slices, spoon on some sauce, then a slice of American cheese before lubricating with more sauce. I keep using this same pattern until all my ingredients are incorporated in the recipe.
Bake in a 350-degree oven covered for about 45-minutes until it is bubbly. Taste it because it should be soft. This time could vary, depending on how your oven is regulated. If your casserole looks slightly dry, you add some spaghetti sauce.