Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Amanda Digges - Hungry Holidays Recipe Contest Winner - Grain Berry Bran Flakes

Grain Berry Bran Flakes Eggplant Parmigiana 

Serves 3-4
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into ¼” slices
2 cups Italian seasoned fine bread crumbs
4 eggs
¾ cup milk
8 cups of Grain Berry Bran Flakes, finely crushed
4 cups of finely grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Kosher salt + more for initial salting of the eggplant slices
1 tsp Ground black pepper
2 Tbsp garlic powder
Olive oil spray
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar of Silver Palate San Marzano Marinara Sauce, heated
If desired, generously salt both sides of the eggplant slices and allow to sweat while preparing your breading station.  The salt removes some of the moisture and mild bitter taste from the eggplant.Heat oven to 425.  Create a 3 section breading station. The first section will be a plate with the bread crumbs.  The second will be a pie plate with the eggs and milked whisked together.   
The third station will be a large bowl containing the crushed bran flakes, parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp of kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, well mixed.  Rinse the eggplant slices well under cold water and pat dry.  Prepare a large rimmed baking dish by spraying it heavily with olive oil cooking spray.  Lightly dust the eggplant slices with the fine bread crumbs.  Then dunk into the egg mixture and follow by coating with the bran flake mixture.  Place on the baking sheet and spray generously with the olive oil spray.   
Bake until lightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, change heat to broil, sprinkle each slice generously with mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.  Serve covered with San Marzano Marinara Sauce.
Who’s behind the apron?

Amanda Digges lives in South Windsor, Connecticut which is just outside of Hartford.  She was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in Northern Virginia. 

Amanda works part-time from home as the Director of Finance and Operations for a small consulting company.  She also contributes a weekly column to an online lifestyle/food magazine called  Random House Canada published a cookbook from the recipes featured on the site last fall, and 4 of her recipes were included in the cookbook.  Amanda enters a lot of recipe contests and also competes on the American Culinary Federation circuit.  She lives with her fiancé, Al, and 14-year old son, Logan.  She has a gorgeous dog named Maisy and a cat, Oliver.

She cooks all the time and loves to try new things and experiment with ingredients all the time.  Her family eats VERY LITTLE processed/pre-made foods.  She cooks from scratch almost daily.  So while the family does eat carbs, meat, gluten, fat, salt and lots of other things that are frowned on by some; they eat almost all homemade foods.


“I wanted to do something savory with the cereal.  I thought that a savory application might be more unusual.  I thought that a breading would be a great use of the product.  I LOVE eggplant parmesan and wanted to give that a shot.  Luckily it worked!”