Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eggplant Con Queso Round 2

I haven't made this recipe for this blog, but I have made it before, and this time around, I tried to make some improvements. Here is the recipe as it is written:

1 eggplant peeled and diced 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup diced toasted bread
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

For starters, I never peel my eggplant. There are far too many nutrients that I just don't want to throw away with the peel. 

When I made this dish the first time, I really did make toast and then dice it, which turned out to be a mistake in my (and my roommate at the time's) opinion. The bread ended up soggy from the water in the eggplant that escaped during the baking process. This time, I decided to try Italian bread crumbs because I still have so darn many of them! I think that this wasn't a terrible move, but I should have scaled back on the amount. Maybe half a cup instead of one.

The recipe calls for the eggplant to be layered with the cheese and bread, then the remaining three ingredients are stirred together and spread on top followed by another layer of cheese before baking for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. In both my attempts at this dish, they were more dollops that would not be spread, and this latest try, I ended up doubling the amount of sour cream and seasoning in my attempt to create an all-covering layer. I still ended up with dry patches that were strange in the mouth with crusty bread crumb bits. 

I think I discovered a solution when re-heating leftovers in the microwave. Rather than layer all the ingredients, mix them together in a giant bowl so that everything is coated in the sour cream mixture evenly. Then spread it out in a baking dish, perhaps sprinkle on some breads crumbs and cheese, and bake. 

I really like this dish and I would like to make it again sometime. I might use store-bought croutons next time and see if that works any better than the diced toast, though I think the bread crumbs will be fine if I just use a smaller amount and ignore the whole layering business. 

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