I love Eggplant Parmesan and I love Dark Chocolate so why NOT, I ask you? At the suggestion of a talented friend of mine, I decided to try making a ‘Marinara’ sauce, using my Dark Chocolate Bloody Mary Mix as a base. My friend said it would be awesome and she was so very right! I was delighted with the results! I have used my Dark Chocolate Marinara Sauce in many dishes and the Dark Chocolate Egg Plant Parmesan is just one that I would like to share with you today.
1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
Salt, as needed
3.5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
½ Tblsp dried oregano
½ Tblsp dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
All-purpose flour for dredging
4 large eggs, beaten
2 Tblsp whole milk
Vegetable oil, as needed
3.5 cups Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate MARINARA SAUCE, recipe follows
1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
½ pound fresh mozzarella, grated
Arrange the eggplant slices on baking sheets and sprinkle generously all over with salt. Set aside to let the bitter juices weep from the eggplant, about 1 hour.
Transfer the eggplant to a colander in the sink, and rinse well under cold running water. Transfer eggplant to a work surface and blot very dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon salt, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, and season with pepper.
In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 400 degrees F on a deep frying thermometer. (The oil must be heated to 400 degrees F. so that the breaded eggplant, when added, will drop the temperature of the oil to the proper frying temperature of 375 degrees F.)
Place the flour in a medium lipped plate or bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Working in small batches, fry the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the bottom of a 10 x 10- x 2-inch-baking dish with 1/3 of the marinara sauce and arrange the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with another 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter half of the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella over the sauced eggplant. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella. Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
DARK CHOCOLATE MARINARA SAUCE
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cups of Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate Bloody Mary Mix
1 can Tomato paste
¼ cup onions (diced)
1 tsp Oregano
½ cup of Basil leafs (chopped) (may substitute with fresh parsley)
½ cup White wine (dry)
2.5 Tbsp Garlic (minced)
2 cups mushrooms sliced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
In oil sauté garlic and onion for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and simmer 3 minutes. Add Bloody Mary Mix, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, white wine. Simmer covered for 20 – 25 minutes.