Slideshow: Behind The Scenes: Rubirosa's Eggplant Parmesan

Rubirosa's Eggplant Parmesan
Rubirosa's Eggplant Parmesan
Served in individually-sized cast iron skillets, Rubirosa's eggplant parmesan is a thing of beauty.
The chef
The chef
Executive Chef Al Di Meglio gave us a personal behind-the-scenes demo of how they make this popular dish.
It all starts with an eggplant
It all starts with an eggplant
The eggplant gets peeled and sliced for frying.
Ready for breading
Ready for breading
The eggplant slices get a coating in each of three bowls: first flour (hiding off to the right of the eggs), then salt-and-peppered eggs, and finally a mixture of breadcrumbs and panko, for extra crispiness.
All breaded!
All breaded!
Ready to be turned into crispy-fried deliciousness.
But wait!
But wait!
Before the eggplant gets fried, Al hand-makes the mozzarella. He begins by pouring hot steaming salt water over the cheese curds.

Back in the olden times sea water was used, so the water Al uses here has the approximate saltiness of the ocean.

Voila!
Voila!
Al wraps up the finished mozzarella in plastic and leaves in the freezer to cool.
About to fry
About to fry
The oil awaits.
Frying!
Frying!
Those humble breaded eggplant slices now get transformed from this...
Basil
Basil
Some lovely leaves of basil are prepped for chopping.
Basil
Basil
Choppity-chop-chop.
Mozzeralla
Mozzeralla
And the just-made mozzarella emerges from chilling.
Almost ready....
Almost ready....
One last sprinkling of parmesan....
Fully assembled
Fully assembled
All set to bake!
It's getting hot in there
It's getting hot in there
Into the broiler they go! Many anxious minutes pass.