he classic Parmigiana dish originated as an Italian dish made with crumbed eggplant slices that were layered with cheese and tomato salsa, then baked. But chefs other countries modified the recipe to use crumbed veal or chicken.
In Australia, veal and chicken parmigiana is a very popular main meal in pubs and clubs. This version is made from flattened veal and chicken schnitzels that are crumbed and deep fried, then topped with tomato salsa, béchamel sauce and cheese, which is melted under a grill or in the oven.
Whatever version you prefer, eggplant (aubergine), veal and chicken parmigiana is delicious and can be easily made at home using fresh herbs and spices.
This article provides a set of fabulous recipes for the layered, baked variety and the crumbed and deep fried version.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Slice the eggplants (about 1.5 cm; 1/2 inches thick), sprinkle with salt, place in a colander and leave for 30 minutes to reduce the bitterness in larger slices. Wash and pat dry. Roll each eggplant slice in the flour, dip in the beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs (push down to ensure an even coating). Pour enough oil in a heavy frying pan so that it is about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Heat the oil to a very hot deep frying temperature. Fry the eggplant slices two or three at a time until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Use some spray oil, or lightly grease a deep sided baking dish or casserole dish. Apply a thin layer of tomato salsa sauce then add a single layer of eggplant slices, so they overlap slightly. Then a layer of pasta sauce and the second layer of eggplant slices. Repeat using the remaining slices, and complete with a layer of tomato sauce on top. Mix the grated cheeses and béchamel sauce (optional) parmesan) in a small bowl and add to the mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top layer is bubbling and the cheese has turned brown.
For the Schnitzels
For the Topping
Preparing the Schnitzels
For the chicken breast fillets, slice each horizontally to create 4 thin escalopes of chicken. Flatten the chicken slices with a meat mallet. Also flatten the veal and other meats with a mallet, if no done when purchased. Place flour on a large plate and crumbs in another. Place the whisked egg and milk between both plates. Roll the chicken or veal slices in the flour, dip into the egg mixture and coat well with breadcrumbs, pressing into he mixture to ensure an even cover. Refrigerate the schnitzels for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan or deep fryer and fry the veal of chicken schnitzels until moderately browned on both sides and cooked in the center, turning once. Ensure the oil is high enough so that the crumb coating becomes crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels
Baking the Schnitzels for Parmigiana
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Place the cooked veal or chicken schnitzels on a large baking dish and cover with a thick layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with mixed grated cheeses. Alternatively the parmesan cheese can be combined with béchamel sauce and used to top the tomato salsa layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. The cheese can also be melted under the grill.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Chop the basil and chilies and add to the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and fry the mixture for several minutes. Then add the canned tomatoes, cook for a minute and season with pepper and salt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the breadcrumbs in the bowl and add the thyme leaves, finely grated lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Coat the veal pieces by rolling in flour, dipping in the egg mixture and then rolling in the breadcrumb mixture. Cook the crumbed veal pieces in a heavy pan until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Taking a large baking dish and spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Lay the cooked veal escalopes on top and sprinkle with grated cheese and torn pieces of mozzarella. Dot with basil leaves, other herbs and spices to taste. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and has a golden brown color.
Fry the onion and garlic in a heavy frying pan with the oils, until soft. Add the tomatoes, sugar and oregano, bring to the boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, until the sauce thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt. Next, season the flour with salt and pepper. Roll the veal pieces in the flour mixture; shaking to remove excess. Dip the veal into the beaten eggs to which the water was added. Then press the veal pieces to coat evenly with breadcrumbs. Shallow-fry the veal, in batches, until browned on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper.Place the veal pieces under a broiler or grill, sprinkle with generous amounts of Parmesan cheese. Grill until browned lightly and serve immediately topped with chopped parsley and extra cheese.
for the Schnitzel
For the Tomato sauce
For cooking the Parmigiana
Preheat the oven grill or your barbecue. Prepare the tomato sauce by heating a little oil in a pan over moderate heat. Sauté the courgette slices briefly until soft, season with salt and pepper, and then set aside. Add the garlic and onion to the pan and fry for several minutes or until soft. Add the stock, tomatoes, and oregano. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced to a thick tomato sauce. Season and set aside.
Prepare the schnitzel by cutting into serving sized, and then season with salt and pepper. Dust each piece or meat in the flour, dip in the egg mixture and press into the crumbs to coat well. Heat 1 cup of oil in a pan over high heat. Quickly shallow fry the schnitzels, in small batches, until brown on both sides. Set aside on paper towels.
Next arrange the schnitzels on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover each one with a large spoonful of the tomato sauce, several slices of courgette, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a few slices of cheddar cheese. Grill for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Top with fresh basil and serve hot.
Tenderize the beef by wrapping and beating with a meat mallet or rolling pin, until flat and thin. Place flour in a shallow bowl. In another bowl Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl. Toss beef in flour to coat, dip in beaten egg, and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Cover with plastic food wrap and cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Preheat your over to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Heat oil in large heavy base frying pan over medium heat. Fry the beef pieces for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Spread half the pasta sauce over base of a medium size square oven-proof dish. Place beef, in a single layer or top and cover with the remaining sauce and eggplant. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve with vegetables and topped with herbs and extra cheese.
Pound the pork with a mallet to form thin patties. Beat the egg in one dish and combine the breadcrumbs and seasoning in another dish.
Dip each pork medallion into the flour and shake to remove excess. Then dip into the beaten egg and then toss in the bread crumbs.
Fry over moderate to high heat until browned on both side. Place the pieces in a square baking dish, add 1 cup sauce and top with cheese. Note: use 2 baking dishes if the pork will not fit in a single dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 1/2 hour. Remove top and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes.
Serve over pasta, topped with fresh herbs.
Cook the pasta in the usual way. Pour the spaghetti sauce into a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Then, cut tenderloin into eight pieces; flatten using a meat mallet. Place the egg in a shallow bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl. Dip the pork slices in the egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and grease with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 5-10 minutes on each side or until meat is tender and brown. Drain pasta; serve the pork with the spaghetti sauce, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese and sprigs of herbs.
Prepare your aubergines by slicing, sprinkle with salt and allowing to grain to reduce the bitterness. Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Then rinse and pat the aubergines slices dry, and pat dry. Dip the slices of aubergine into the aquafaba and then roll in the flour, shaking to remove excess.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet, and fry the aubergine slices in small batches over moderate-high heat for a minute or so, until browned on each side. Cut the mozzarella into medium thickness slices. Assemble the dish, starting with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then add a layer of aubergine slices,then another layer of sauce, and a layer of mozzarella. Continue this way using all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce. Bake in the oven for about 45-55 minutes. Serve with a simple green salad, fresh bread and fresh herbs.
Make the sauce by heating oil in a saucepan. Add shallots and garlic and fry until transparent. Add the thyme, oregano, carrots and fry until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until sauce is thick. Stir often to prevent the sauce sticking to the base of the pan and season to taste. Next, sprinkle the fish pieces with salt and pepper. Place flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs/ Parmesan cheese in 3 separate bowls. Dredge fish in flour, dip into the egg, and toss in the breadcrumb mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over moderate heat. Fry fish until golden brown and then drain on paper towels. Serve fish over spaghetti; topped with the tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (400 degrees F). and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Pound the chicken into thin slices. Place flour on a plate. Combine the milk and eggs together in a shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Coat each piece chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture and drain. Toss in the breadcrumbs. Then place the crumbed chicken pieces on a prepared tray, sprayed with oil Spray chicken with oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven, and then top each one with 1 heaped tablespoon pasta sauce. Arrange the avocado slices over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden and chicken is cooked through. Serve with salad, more cheese and fresh herbs.
for the sauce
Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and grill on a hot griddle pan or barbecue for about 2-3 minutes per side, and then set aside. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Next make the sauce by frying the onion in a saucepan with a little oil until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry until softened and golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduced slightly. Next assemble the bake by adding layers of the grilled aubergine, sauce and cheese in an oven-proof dish, topping with some mozzarella. Bake for 15-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately with salad herbs and bread.
Spray the eggplants, zucchini and capsicums with olive oil and fry in a heavy pan over moderate heat for 2-5 minutes each side until softened and slightly browned. Season to taste and set aside keeping warm. Mix the basil, ricotta, Parmesan cheese and eggs together until well combined and season to taste with salt and pepper. Assemble in layers of vegetables and sauce, and sprinkle with haloumi. Finally, spread the ricotta mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining haloumi. Drizzle liberally with oil. Bake at 180 degrees C (300 degrees F) for about 30 minutes, until deep golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
Combine the Italian seasoning and breadcrumbs together in a shallow dish. Slice the tofu lengthwise into 4 steaks and pat dry. Next, sprinkle both sides of the tofu with garlic powder and salt. Then toss in the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add the onion and fry, stirring, until soft and staring to brown (about 3-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and fry until they soften and start to brown, (about 4 minutes more). Transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the tofu steaks and fry until browned on one side. Then, turn the slices over and sprinkle with Parmesan. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the tofu, and then the marinara sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella on top. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted (about 3 minutes). Sprinkle with basil and serve hot.