No Fry Eggplant Parmesan Recipe – 30 Minutes

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Eggplant Parmesan can be…..

…..done a few different ways resulting in various levels of time needed and mess made.

A long time ago I was working as a grunt in an Italian restaurant and meet this cook named Sal. He was always complaining about the Italian food here in America and how so much of it wasn’t the “real thing”. On the subject of eggplant parmesan, or as Sal called it “parmigiana di melanzane” .

He said, “Real Italian cooks bake the eggplant for parmigiana not fry it.”

At the time I just wrote it off as another one of his rants.

Then, years later, I saw Mario Batelli do it this way on his television show. So I had to try it and it is now the way that I do it all the time.

Quicker, less mess and just the right texture. Not crunchy and not mushy.

Set the oven at 400°F/205C. If you are not using a nonstick cookie sheet then line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil.

Cut the ends off of the eggplant and peel them. Some cooks leave the skin on but we don’t like the taste of the skin. Then slice into about 1/2 inch thick slices.

Using a little more than your gut tells you to, salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant slices and lay them out in the cookie sheet.

About 8 minutes or until slightly browned a little and just starting to get soft. The time will vary with different eggplants do to how ripe they might be.

BTW – when you are picking out your eggplant get the ones with the the least – or hopefully none – skin blemishes and lightest in weight.

Lightly cover half of the slices with tomato sauce – you could use  fresh or canned tomatoes in a pinch – and top with the mozzarella. Lay the naked slices on top of the well dressed slices and this time after the mozzarella sprinkle some dried basil  and grated parmesan cheese. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.

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In the resulting bare spot in the pan spread out your veggie of choice for today. Broccoli or string beans will work. We like asparagus for this.

Give the asparagus the same tomato sauce, cheese, basil and olive oil topping that you gave the top eggplant layer. Into the oven for for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is done the way that YOU like it. 

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Then buon appetito!! Enjoy your No Fry Eggplant Parmesan. 

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Chianti of course!!

 

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Eggplant parmesan done with baked eggplant slices instead of fried.
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Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Course Main course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Set the oven at 400°F/205C. If you are not using a nonstick cookie sheet then line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray or wipe it with olive oil. Cut the ends off of the eggplant and peel them. Then slice into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a little more than your gut tells you to, salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant slices and lay them out in the cookie sheet. About 8 minutes or until slightly browned a little and just starting to get soft. The time will vary with different eggplants do to how ripe they might be.
  2. Lightly cover half of the slices with marinara sauce - you could use sliced tomatoes in a pinch - and top with the mozzarella. Lay the naked slices on top of the well dressed slices and this time after the mozzarella sprinkle some dried basil and grated parmesan cheese. Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
  3. In the resulting bare spot in the pan spread out your veggie of choice for today. Any stalky kind of green will work. We like asparagus for this. Give the asparagus the same tomato sauce, cheese and basil topping that you gave the top eggplant layer. Bake in to the oven for for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is done the way that you like it.
  4. Then buon appetito!! Enjoy your No Fry Eggplant Parmesan.
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Shrimp Zucchini Onions Garlic – 20 minutes

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Shrimp cooks fast. Zucchini cooks fast. Onions cook fast. Garlic cooks fast. 

So, It looks like we are going to put together a quick and easy meal. 

BTW,,also a very tasty meal.

Whenever I start some pasta to go along with this recipe it turns into a race to see if the pasta or the Shrimp Zucchini Onions Garlic skillet is going to finish first.

If you want to turn this into a one pot meal you could add a little chicken broth or just water with a little lemon juice squeezed in and put some gnocchi’s in when you add the shrimp. The gnocchi will take about the same time to cook as the shrimp.

Alright, lets get going!

If you have to thaw and/or devein the shrimp get it started. They will thaw quicker in the microwave then in water.

Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom.

Rinse off the zucchini and slice it into about half inch thick slices. Cut the onion into strips. Add the zucchini and onion to the skillet. Salt and pepper. Toss or stir as they cook.

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Chop up the garlic.

When the zucchini and the onion have started to brown…….

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…….push them to the outside of the skillet and add the shrimp and the garlic. Squeeze in the lemon juice and toss in the rind.

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Cook cook until they are pink on one side and then pink on the other and opaque in the middle. Enjoy!

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Now wasn’t that easy? A good California Chardonnay pairs up real nice with your Quick and Easy Dinner.

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Shrimp, zucchini, onions and garlic all in one skillet.
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Rinse off the zucchini and slice it into about half inch thick slices. Cut the onion into strips. Add the zucchini and onion to the skillet. Salt and pepper. Toss or stir as they cook.
  2. Chop up the garlic. When the zucchini and the onion have started to brown push them to the outside of the skillet and add the shrimp and the garlic. Squeeze in the lemon juice and toss in the rind.
  3. Cook the shrimp until it is pink on one side and then pink on the other and opaque in the middle. Enjoy!
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Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables

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Baked Chicken Breasts are a great way to…

…..put together a quick and easy supper on a busy weeknight.

Add the veggies and you could have your entire dinner all in one pan and leaving you free to tend to other matters while it’s in the oven.

This is what we used  along with the chicken tonight but you can make it with all kinds of variations of the meat and the veggies.

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Turn on the oven and set it at 400°F/204°C.

Slice up the veggies while the oven heats up.

Lay the chicken breasts out on a baking sheet and salt and pepper both sides.

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Lay the tomato slices out on the chicken.

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Then the onions. and the garlic.

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top it off with the lemon slices, grated parmesan and the rosemary. You could use dried rosemary if you would rather.

 

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About ten minutes in the oven. When the juices run clear from the chicken or it reads 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer switch the oven to broiler and push the veggies off to the side of the pan.

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Give it about 3-4 minutes under the broiler and serve up your Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables. This combo of the vegetables turned out to be a real tasty compliment to the chicken breasts.

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We knocked off a chilled bottle of Italian Soave with our Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables and it paired up real well.

 

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Turn on the oven and set it at 400°F/204°C. Slice up the veggies while the oven heats up. Lay the chicken breasts out on a baking sheet and salt and pepper both sides.
  2. Lay the tomato slices out on the chicken. Then the onions. and the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top it off with the lemon slices, grated parmesan and the rosemary. You could use dried rosemary if you would rather.
  3. About ten minutes in the oven. When the juices run clear from the chicken or it reads 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer switch the oven to broiler and push the veggies off to the side of the pan. Give it about 3-4 minutes under the broiler and serve up your Baked Chicken Breasts with Vegetables. This combo of the vegetables turned out to be a real tasty compliment to the chicken breasts.
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Little Italy Garlic Chicken – Butter – Garlic – Parsley – Lemon

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Little Italy Garlic Chicken is…

….Butter, Chicken, Garlic and Parsley plus a little lemon added to it. That is the whole shebang.  

Once again we have a “Quick and easy Recipe for Busy People” that is real real good.

Way back, when we lived in New Jersey we would frequently zip over to Little Italy in Manhattan for dinner.

Our very most favorite restaurant was this little place on Mulberry Street in Little Italy called the Grotto Azzurra aka The Blue Gratto in street speak.

It was opened in 1908 by a family of Italian immigrants and was named after the Blue Grotto on the isle of Capri. Which is just offshore from Naples.

When we were going there it was one level below street level and only had about 10 tables.

Frank Sinatra used to go there when he was in town as did Robert Dinero.  

Whenever we were there there were always a few “mob” looking types that you did not make eye contact with.

When we got in – after a wait in line – the server would immediately – and before any conversation – put a pitcher with some slices of oranges and lemons in it on the table and then pour in a bottle of red wine which then became Sangria. No questions asked, they would just do it for every party that came in.

I would almost always order the Garlic Chicken. It was, like so many good Italian recipes, simple and made with just a few fresh ingredients.

What I was served at the “Blue Gratto” very apparently was chicken thighs – skin on and bone in –  marinated in a garlic and oil mixture for at least a few hours, more likely over night.

Dredged in flour and sautéed in good olive oil with sliced garlic added at the last minute of the frying process. 

It would arrive with the garlic slices spooned over the chicken and topped with some chopped parsley and with just a little taste of lemon. 

It was fantastic!

After dinner we would walk around Little Italy for a little while and find our way around the corner to Ferrara’s Bakery and Cafe and have some of their world class Sfogliatella and/or……

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…..Cannoli

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with their made to order espresso that was brought to the table in the pot that it was made in and if you asked nice and had a history of tipping good a little Sambuca would magically appear in the bottom of your cup.

Forgive me when I say that I think that I have improved a little on the Blue Gratto version of Garlic Chicken….

….well,, for our “Quick and Easy” requirements anyway.

We don’t have time to marinate the chicken like they did at the Blue Gratto so let’s do it like this.

You can get pre trimmed and flattened chicken breasts in the grocery store or you could butterfly your chicken breasts and flatten them a little while wrapped in glad wrap.

For quick and easy I always have some of the pre trimmed version in the freezer and just thaw them out in the microwave.

Put a skillet on at medium high and swirl in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. 

Salt and pepper both sides of the breasts and pan fry them in the skillet for about 4-5 minutes a side.

When the liquid sneaking out of the breasts is clear and/or they are firm to a finger poke remove them to a plate that will catch the drippings.

While the chicken is cooking chop up the garlic cloves or just go with that pre chopped version that you can find in jars in the produce section and chop up the parsley leaves. Have the fresh lemon ready.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, let it melt and put the garlic in the skillet. Give the garlic just a minute or just until it starts to become fragrant. Put the chicken breasts and the drippings back in, squeeze the lemon juice in and toss in the rind. Turn them and spoon the butter and garlic on them as they warm back up. 

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When the chicken is warm, almost hot to the touch put in the parsley and do a little more of the turning and spooning.

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Serve it up!  Buon Appetito! 

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I put together some sautéed spinach as our veggie tonight and since we had some garlic and good extra virgin olive oil on hand (always) I had some pasta aglio e olio. Gammy eats gluten free so I put together some “spaghetti squash aglio e olio” for her.

 

Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio was our vino of choice to go with our Little Italy Garlic Chicken.

 

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Chicken sautéed with butter, garlic and parsley.
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the breasts and pan fry them in the skillet for about 4-5 minutes a side. When the liquid sneaking out of the breasts is clear and they are firm to a finger poke remove them to a plate that will catch the drippings.
  2. While the chicken is cooking chop up the garlic cloves or just go with that pre chopped version that you can find in the produce section and chop up the parsley leaves. Have the fresh lemon ready. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, let it melt and put the garlic in the skillet. Give the garlic just a minute or just until it starts to become fragrant. Put the chicken breasts and the drippings back in, squeeze the lemon juice in and toss in the rind. Turn them and spoon the butter and garlic on them as they warm back up. When the chicken is warm, almost hot to the touch put in the parsley and do a little more of the turning and spooning.
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