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Monday, March 5, 2012

Obsessions with Eggplant

What is so intoxicating about eggplant?  Nothing matches it deep, smokey, earthy flavor.  I often sit in my favorite recliner, fire blazing, bottle of port nearby, pondering eggplant.

As mentioned in these journals of obsession, I was quite into eggplant parmesan a little while back, and who can blame me?  Although I haven't experimented with it lately, it's always there, a mist which pervades my consciousness for all eternity.

Recently, a friend mentioned that Trader Joe's has frozen breaded eggplant.  Instantly I smiled.  Although making eggplant parmesan from scratch has its rewards, sometimes you don't want to put in the effort.  You've had a long day, you've been yelled at by your boss, you accidentally chopped off your finger, you don't want to make eggplant parmesan from scratch! (please note, i will never say eggplant "parm," for it is annoying to use that cutesy abbreviation).

Yesterday I went to Trader Joe's and purchased this product, known as Eggplant Cutlets.  I also purchased an individual-sized Stacked Eggplant Parmesan meal.  Soon, I will compare the latter with a "homemade" version of eggplant parmesan I construct using the former.  Report to follow.

Anyhow, tonight, I resolved to make an eggplant parmesan sandwich using the cutlets.  I made 4 cutlets: 2 for the sandwich, and 2 to sample on their own merits.  About 13 minutes in a 425 degree oven, and out they came.  Eaten independently, they were firm and well-breaded on the outside, mushy and tender on the inside with that classic eggplant savoriness.  Scrumptious.

I piled the remaining two eggplant cutlets onto the bottom half of a sesame seed bun.  I spooned on a little Trader Joe's Tomato & Basil Marinara Sauce on the top of the eggplant and on the remaining bun, which had been inverted, and added some gobs of fresh mozzarella cheese.  I then placed all of this in the oven for toasting and melting.

The result was enjoyable, indeed.  However, I wondered if the sandwich would have been better on a sturdier bread?  The eggplant was mushy and the bun was too, making for a rather mushy sandwich. Yet it was all still firm enough to be gripped and held, and the flavors were true.  Yes, an enjoyable enough sandwich, especially considering how easy it was to make.

I would now like to close with a short letter to god...

Dear god,

I hate you for making life so miserable, but thank you for eggplant.


P.S. this note is moot because god doesn't exist