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Awesome Gluten-free Eggplant Parmesan

Celiac.com 03/26/2015 - A good eggplant Parmesan is a delight to the eye, to the nose, and to the palate.  It is also powerful weapon in any dinner arsenal. This easy recipe delivers a tasty, delicious version that will replace pangs of hunger with smiles of joy.

Photo: CC--Arnold GatilaoIngredients: 

  • 8-10 slices of eggplant, about ½-inch thick
  • ¾ cup of potato flour, rice flour, cornstarch, or general purpose gluten-free flour
  • ¾ cup crushed Rice Chex or gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups your favorite easy tomato sauce--canned. jarred, whatever might be in the freezer, etc.
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 4-6 ounces mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut 8-10 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish 

Directions:
Combine breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan in a shallow bowl.

Combine spices in a bowl and mix.

Heat the broiler.

On the stovetop, put the tomato sauce into a medium saucepan, and warm on a rear burner.

On another burner, heat ½-inch of oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Don't let oil get smoky. If oils smokes, pull it off the burner and let it cool until smoking stops.

Season both sides of the cutlets with the spice mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, paprika, and cayenne.

Dredge eggplant in gluten-free flour, then dip cutlets in the beaten egg, then dredge in breadcrumb and cheese mixture, turning to coat both sides. Place cutlets on a plate.

Place cutlets in skillet a few at a time, and cook a two or three minutes on each side, until golden.

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Pull eggplant from skillet and drain briefly on a paper towel.

Then use a spatula, transfer browned cutlets to a 10x15 inch baking pan.

Top off oil in the skillet. Cook the remaining cutlets, drain and place in baking pan.

Top each cutlet with a slice of mozzarella.

Now, here's where I do things differently than most traditional preparation methods.

Instead of lining the pan with the tomato sauce, I broil the eggplant alone--about 4 inches from heat source until cheese is melted and lightly browned in spots, 4 to 5 minutes.

I serve them immediately with warm tomato sauce on the side, and top with grated parmesan or Romano, as desired. This delivers a crunchier eggplant cutlet, and allows guests to add sauce as desired. Garnish with basil leaves.

You can also put the warm sauce on the plate and top with the broiled cutlas. Or you can do it the traditional way, by putting the sauce in the pan, then putting the cutlets and cheese in and broiling. 

However you do it, I'm sure you'll make friend with this gluten-free version of eggplant Parmesan.

For chicken or veal Parmesan, try this recipe.

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