Rubirosa's Eggplant Parmesan
Served in individually-sized cast iron skillets, Rubirosa's eggplant parmesan is a thing of beauty.
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
The eggplant gets peeled and sliced for frying.
That eggplant doesn't even see what's coming.
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.
Ready to be turned into crispy-fried deliciousness.
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.
The curds and water are combined until you have a smooth, elastic, knead-able cheese blob.
Al wraps up the finished mozzarella in plastic and leaves in the freezer to cool.
About to fry
The oil awaits.
Those humble breaded eggplant slices now get transformed from this...
Some lovely leaves of basil are prepped for chopping.
And the just-made mozzarella emerges from chilling.
Let the layering begin
Now everything begins to come together. Eggplant, red sauce, mozzarella, basil, and parmesan all get carefully layered into the iron skillets.
One last sprinkling of parmesan....
All set to bake!
It's getting hot in there
Into the broiler they go! Many anxious minutes pass.
The finished product