Eggplant Stacks baked with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Fresh Mozzarella
3 pounds eggplant, sliced
3 cups Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (see recipe below)
22 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
6 ounces French Comte or Gruyere cheese (optional)
1.5 cups flour
6 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups bread crumbs, unflavored
salt for soaking
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2 Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Generously salt each slice and arrange in several stacks. Let stand for 10 minutes. Place the slices in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the eggplant slices and thoroughly rinse with fresh water. Dry each slice between lawyers of paper towels.
3 Prepare the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. See recipe below.
4 Coat the bottom of one or more sheet pans with olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Dredge each slice of eggplant in flour shaking off the excess, then dip in egg wash and finally coat with bread crumbs. Arrange the eggplant slices on the sheet pans and spray with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool.
5 Slice the fresh Mozzarella into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. Set aside. Coarsely grate the Comte or Gruyere and set aside. Coat a 10 to 12 inch baking dish, or sheet pan with olive oil. About 1 tablespoon.
6 Build the stacks (3 slices each) in the baking dish by alternating layers of eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, fresh Mozzarella and French Comte. Top each stack with fresh Mozzarella. Adjust the amount of sauce and cheese so that it is all used in building the stacks.
7 Reduce oven temperature to 350 Degrees F and bake until the cheese and sauce bubble and the eggplant is heated throughout. About 25 minutes.
Nutrition (per serving): 524 calories, 254 calories from fat, 28.5g total fat, 218.4mg cholesterol, 534.7mg sodium, 610.5mg potassium, 49.9g carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 7.3g sugar, 16.2g protein. Nutrition Facts include the sauce!
This recipe will serve 8 to 10 people. It easily scales for fewer servings but we find it convenient to make the full recipe and freeze the extra stacks before baking. It makes a future meal easy with minimal clean-up. To bake the frozen stacks, thaw and then follow the baking instructions for the assembled stacks, step 7. You may have to adjust the number of eggs and/or the amount flour and bread crumbs based upon your technique. No problem.
We recommend a light red such as Bricco Dei Tati 2006 Barbera from the Piedmont region of Italy Öand itís a real bargain at about $9. If your local wine merchant canít get it for you, it is readily available over the internet. Your favorite Pinot Noir, Montepulciano or Sangiovese are also excellent choices.
16 ounces Roasted red peppers, drained
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream sherry
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon pimenton de la Vera (optional, but good)
1 Reduce the cream sherry by 50% over medium high heat. Set aside to cool. Drain the roasted red peppers and add to the bowl of a food processor. When cool, add the reduced sherry, honey, mascarpone cheese, white pepper, ground red pepper and pimenton de la Vera to the peppers in the food processor and puree. Heat the sauce for use or refrigerate for later use.
Author: HGB Jr
Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook
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