I conducted my panko breading exercise this evening, with tremendous success! I decided to go with the eggplant parmesean, because it seemed like the one of the options on epicurious with the most nutrition potential:
You can tell by the proportion of cheese:everything else in this photo that the nutrition value was "potential" at best. There ARE 3 eggplants and 5 lbs of tomatoes in there, I swear! Who cares though: by the time I got done layering the sauce (which I made especially for the dish), the fresh mozzarella from whole foods, and the eggplant, I had to spend all my mental energy to keep my drool from getting in the pan and thus was unable to care too much about the 1.25 cups of oil I used for frying.
Here's a side view, so you can see how nicely my panko breading technique turned out!
I was supposed to mix some parmesean cheese in with the panko before I dredged the eggplants and forgot. However, I just added the parmesean to my layering before I baked, and I think the eggplants taste great anyway. There's just something about a nice crusty, salty, warm fried eggplant baked in tomato sauce and cheese. Oh gurgle, I'm so glad I have my 7 extra portions of this frozen up to take in to work with me for effortless delicious little old lady frozen lunch!
I will definitely double triple make this again when I have time. It is pretty time consuming, between frying all the eggplants and making the tomato sauce. Maybe to shorten up the prep time I can use store bought tomato sauce instead. The sauce is good, but it's the eggplants and the mozzarella that make the dish, I think, and making the tomato sauce just adds like an hour of prep time (I actually blanched, peeled, and pureed tomatoes!)
I scarfed down my portion, so now I'm a member of the clean plate club, meaning I can look down onto the beautiful fine china my mom got me last weekend! Here's the pattern:
She'd been threatening to buy me china since last thanksgiving, when she looked at the photos of the table I set and was HORRIFIED that I served my thanksgiving guests on mismatched hula girl / corn / mollusk plates from target. I prevailed upon her to wait until AFTER my cross country move though. This pattern was my favorite one I looked at, and turned out to be like 35% off at Macy's the weekend my mom was in town. I love it! Thanks mom!!!! If any of you ever come over for Thanksgiving in future years, this is what we will be eating off of. :)
PS you're all invited for thanksgiving if you want to dodge telling your families what you do or who you have sex with over the holidays. I even have an air mattress now!