Super Bowl Sunday has always been a big day in my house and it always includes a big fucking homemade eggplant parmesan!
In 2020, I was able to make a nine-layer eggplant parm (EP) that was 20.5 lbs., my personal best. Last year, I downsized (15.5 lbs.), but it was the best tasting one by far, IMO. This year, I set out to break my own record, hoping to produce a great-tasting EP and a record-breaker, "24 Pounds or BUST!".
I maxed out my pan in 2020, so if the record was to be broken, I knew I needed a larger pan, but because I make the EP on Saturday and serve it on Sunday, the pan has to fit in the fridge. I put that difficult purchase in the capable hands of my wife and she did not disappoint. The old pan was 15" x 11.25" x 3" tall. The new one is 17" x 13" x 4" tall and because the handles are recessed, it only has a slightly larger footprint than the old one and it just fits on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
In addition to getting the perfect pan, my wife also shopped for the groceries… I had six good-looking eggplants, short and plump, usually the best ones in my experience. I've cut some larger ones in the past and they've been rotten, forcing a quick run back to the Supermarket. This time, the eggplants were perfect!
She picked up six, 24 oz. jars of Botticelli Tomato & Basil Supreme Pasta Sauce and when all was said and done, I had barely half a jar left. She picked up two 2-pound bags of Galbani shredded mozzarella cheese at BJ's, and if there's one item we could've bought more of, it was the cheese. I was able to complete 11 layers, another personal best, but if the cheese hadn't run out I might've squeezed one more in…
The two containers of Progresso Italian bread crumbs were the perfect amount. Then, while cooking, I panicked, thinking I'd run out of California extra virgin olive oil, so I ran out and got another bottle mid-way through. In the end, I only needed one big spill out of it, but I felt better knowing I had it on hand. I probably used close to 40 ounces of olive oil.
The process is very repetitive, eggplant, sauce, cheese, repeat. At about the halfway point I decided to break up the process… I decided to introduce a little alcohol into the process, more specifically, Romana Sambvca (Sambuca). Hey, it's a product of Italy and I was making an Italian dish, why not? The one good argument my wife made was that I was using a Ginsu knife to slice the eggplant, but I assured her, although I may not be a gourmet chef, I'm a licensed Master Plumber and if I wanted I could use a Sawzall and make these cuts without incident. I may have lost a few brain cells, but I didn't lose any fingers. It's red sauce anyway, who would've known?
Here's the video play-by-play…
First layer done!
Decided to have some fun…
With the ninth layer complete, it was time for another Buca!
Working on the 11th layer and rewarding myself with another Buca!
The eggplant parm is done and it's time for… one more Buca!
***I'm gonna post the official weigh-in at 4:00 on Twitter @Vindog56
A big thanks to my wife who had a chemotherapy treatment on Friday and was behind the camera for me on Saturday!