1cupyellow cornmeal panko is also a nice option here
1cupseason italian bread crumbs
Sweating The Eggplant:
1. Slice the eggplant into slightly fat 1/4" slices. You don't want to make eggplant chips but if they are too thick they won't fry through as well.2. Salt the eggplant slices on both sides well and place in a colander. Salting draws out the excess water in the eggplant and removes some of the bitterness. Allow draining for 1-2 hours if possible, 30 minutes minimum.Making The Sauce:
3. While the eggplant drains start your sauce.4. Saute the onions in the olive oil until they are translucent and aromatic. Add the garlic in the last moment (do not brown).5. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasoning.6. Bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer on low as long as possible. I like to give mine 2-3 hours to fully meld the flavors and make the house smell amazing. 30 minutes minimum.Frying The Eggplant:
7. Add 1/2 inch of peanut oil to a large thick-bottomed frying pan. If you are crunched for time you can run 2 pans at the same time to speed up the frying.8. Bring oil to temperature over medium to medium-high heat (my electric stovetop is just a smidge over medium for the perfect temp)9. Preheat your oven to warm and place a cookie sheet inside.10. Set up your breading station with eggplant, a dish of beaten eggs, and a dish of the cornmeal & Italian breadcrumbs mixed together. Using a dish with sides for the breadcrumbs is easier than a plate.11. Dip the eggplant in egg, then breading and then fry until golden brown and crispy, turning once.12. Transfer cooked eggplant to cookie sheets in the oven. Do not stack them.Assembly:
13. You can either serve these deconstructed (as shown in photos) or you can assemble them in a casserole dish in layers with sauce and cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes for a more lasagna like experience. 14. I prefer to serve them stacked like this with sauce and cheese layered and then broiled as it keeps the eggplant crispy.