The Family Kef is all about the extravaganza. Your first heard about it when I published the first ever Kefi Christmas Personality Quiz and I raved about it again after a Very Kefi Christmas. These days, the Extravaganza spans two days in December and a few legal holidays during the summer (though those are simply ‘Stravaganzas… sort of like the casual Fridays of family get togethers if the B’s were ever casual and the Family Kef ever let anything be simple). I digress.
Today’s guest post is a WORLD PREMIER VIDEO of PurpleHeart Kef from GRAMP’stravaganza December 2013. PurpleHeart Kef is a two-time Purple Heart recipient (not to mention the Bronze Star, North African Campaign medal, European Theater Operations medal, Good Conduct medal, New York State World War II medal, and Infantry Badge), lifelong OCNY resident, devoted Yankee fan, and a true connoisseur of Italian cooking done right. Plus, he’s the one who drinks all the mulled wine at the Christmas Extravaganza. Read more about PurpleHeart Kef’s World War II experience here.
Today’s post is more of a procedure than a recipe (when I asked CafeKef to fill in the amounts PurpleHeart Kef omitted, she responded simply, ‘We’re Italian–we don’t measure.’)– but the method is a good one and I estimated amounts based on past experience. Be prepared to need more or less in actuality. Be sure to not to miss the point at 2:15 when PHK shows off how tight he is with aubuergines by referring to them in the informal (“2-3 ‘plants”). That gorgeous woman in red in the background? She’s the true-blue ITALIAN CELIAC, ChampageOnly Kef, who approves this recipe, so rest assured that this is pretty much the best gluten-free eggplant parm on the planet.
Grandpa B’s Extravaganza Eggplant Parm
- 2 eggplants, ends cut, skins peeled and sliced to about a quarter-inch thick
- bowl of water
- 1/4 c salt
- 1-2 c flour
- gallon ziploc bag
- 4-5 eggs
- 1-2 c Parmesan cheese
- 1-2 c mozzarella cheese
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- oregano (Grandpa recommends using “lotta it”)
- a “pretty nice” amount of oil (probably about 1/3 cup)
- your favorite tomato sauce, to taste
- mozz and parm for topping the eggplant, probably another 1 c
- No salt. We don’t use salt.
1. Add salt to your water and then throw your eggplant slices in the water. Let the eggplants just sit for at least an hour (Ed note: some people do this in the ‘fridge–PurpleHeart Kef doesn’t specify here). It’ll get brown, and that’s alright.
2. Dry ‘em out with a dishtowel until they’re good and dry.
3. Put flour in a ziploc bag . Shake the slices of eggplant in small groups so they’re good and covered in flour.
4. Stack the dry, floured slices on the counter somewhere.
5. Beat the eggs. Mix together the cheeses, garlic powder, and oregano. Combine the cheese/spices with the egg. Now you’re ready to dip.
6. Over medium, heat a frying pan full of a pretty nice amount of oil. Get right next to the sink so you don’t make a mess. Get the floured eggplant, dip in the eggs, shake off the excess and throw it in the frying pan. Fry until the slices are golden brown and both sides (flipping ‘em once, “like a pancake!”).
7. Once all the slices are browned, spread about 1 c tomato sauce on a rimmed pan (or get your amazing daughter Donna to do it, which is Grandpa B’s method). Then spread the slices of browned eggplant on the pan. Layer with more tomato sauce and cheese to your taste, then stack slices on top and repeat layering.End with cheese at the top.
8. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
9. That’s it!