Since landing in Australia in 2015, the one thing I’ve learnt is that Aussie’s bloody love a good chicken parmy. It’s their national dish they froth it over here, parmy and a pint is the go too pub feed especially when the footy’s on! That's AFL for you non-Aussies, but they call everything footy over here so who knows what there chatting about most of the time.
Chicken parmigiana is also an Italian dish but we won’t get into that right now, the Aussie's love to claim other cuisines as their own ah my right?
I still love you Australia.
Since now I’ve given you a minuscule history lesson on the beloved parmy let’s get to the point. I have a love hate relationship with chicken, I was a vegetarian for a few years then the ole ball and chain managed to convince me to eat fried chicken and well yeah god dam that shit is good!
I now class myself as a flexitarian (don’t hate me it’s a thing people) although I’m not one for labels so really, I just eat what I want when I feel like it. I’m gearing off-topic again, anyway my point of not being a big fan of chicken anymore is I decided to mix it up and make a veggie version with eggplant (aubergine for ma homedawgs).
I love eggplant it’s so versatile and it’s an excellent substitute for meat. The flavour of eggplant isn’t overpowering and it can have a meaty texture which makes it perfect for this recipe.
Top Tip for using eggplant, is to slice and then grind salt over the top of each slice and let sit for 20-30 minutes this will draw out the moisture, so you won’t end up with a soggy eggplant. No one likes a soggy meal.
The funnest part of this recipe is you get to get your hands messy. who doesn't love messy hands and messy kitchens!
This recipe is slightly more time consuming as you need to prepare the eggplant by doing the ole diparoo into the flour, Egg, and breadcrumbs but it’s quite fun to get a bit messy in the kitchen and if you have a couple of wines whilst your cooking it’s a party!
I would recommend lightly frying the eggplant before putting in the oven to get that crispy coating. I use my skillet pan because I’m obsessed with that thing, seriously if you don’t have one get one!
I top the eggplants with my super simple spicy tomato sauce because I love hot and spicy, if you can’t handle the heat you can omit the chili (don't recommend). Definitely make your own sauce it’s so easy to blitz up in a blender and it tastes 10 times better than sore bought jars.
Top with a bucket load of cheese and serve with some crispy potatoes and greens and boom you got yourself a banging dinner.
Another top tip for you, while your waiting for this bad boy to bake in the oven and get that cheese all melty, golden and delightful move your body. Have a dance, do some yoga have a wine, blast some disco tunes you got 20 minutes have a party man!
If you wanted to make this dairy-free you could top with vegan cheese ( I am not a fan, but if it works for you, great). To make it vegan you could skip out the egg and use dairy-free milk as an alternative. Again have not tried this so if fucks up that's not on me. If you do try and it works great!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and as always keep on cooking good looking.
Much love Char.
- Eggplant Parmas:
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cups cheese grated
- Parma Sauce:
- 2 cups of chopped tomato or 1 tin chopped tomato
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp Basil fresh or dried
- 3 tbsps Thyme fresh or dried
- 2 tbsps of paprika
- 4 bullseye chilies optional
- 4 tbsps of olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Wash and slice eggplant into long slices or circular slices place on a tray and sprinkle salt over each slice – let sit for 20 – 30 minutes
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
- Gather 3 bowls or plates (bowl for the eggs) dump flour onto one plate, dump the breadcrumbs onto another, beat the eggs in a bowl and set your self up an assembly line, once you've done that turn your attention back to the eggplant.
- You should see water droplets on top of the eggplants, grab a paper towel and pat dry – start to crumb your eggplant.
- Firstly Coat in flour dusting off the excess, secondly dip in the egg letting any excess drip off and then coat in the breadcrumbs – do this for each slice. ( assembly line)
- When you’ve coated those bad boys lightly fry in a pan for 5 minutes each side to get the breadcrumbs nice and crispy. Whilst those are frying in the pan – make your sauce.
- Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and whizz you may need to add a dash of water if the sauce is to thick. make sure to season well - heaps of flavour.
- Get a big baking dish and places the eggplant slices into it, pour over the tomato sauce and top with heaps of shredded cheese, sprinkle some fresh basil and chilli flakes over the top and boom slide it into the oven. – let cook for 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and began to turn golden brown.
- Serve with some roasted potatoes and greens or a nice salad and boom you got yourself a banging meal. Best enjoyed with friends and beers!
- Do not skip salting the eggplant slices, drawing out as much moisture as possible is key to making sure your eggplants aren't super soggy and you get that crispy breadcrumb outer layer.
- I definitely recommend not skipping the chillies in the sauce -spicy tomato sauce is where it's at!
- If you're after that pub feed feel, serve witch chips and a beer and you're sorted.
- To make gluten-free use GF Flour for the dusting.