Leftover lasagna? Unless Garfield lives with you, lasagna leftovers are bound to happen. Does your leftover lasagna story go something like this: You have lasagna for dinner on Sunday so there will be leftovers for Monday, a busy day until late. Monday everyone is happy to eat lasagna again. Tuesday you take a lasagna break. On Wednesday, you and your loved one bring a square for lunch. Then there is one square remaining. You move it from casserole dish to Tupperware to bring for lunch again. (Don’t you just love the corner pieces of lasagna? I do!) You can’t on Thursday due to a business lunch so it gets moved to Friday. Friday morning arrives and you leave in such a hurry, you forget your lasagna lunch in the fridge. Driving home you’re tired after a long week and wish that one remaining square of lasagna was enough for dinner and not bound for the freezer. Well, it is enough for dinner along with the help of that eggplant that’s been hanging out since last Saturday’s Farmers Market.
Leftover Lasagna Cream Sauce Eggplant: We love eggplant in our house, especially oven fried eggplant. Oven fried eggplant is an easy way to help use up leftovers, too. For instance, it is great topped with so many leftover options, like shrimp creole, chicken tetrazzini, or even sloppy joe sauce.
Let’s get started on the eggplant. Do not peel the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into thin slices. I rotate the eggplant after each slice to help keep the slices even. Sprinkle salt on all the slices. The salt will help draw the excess liquid out of the eggplant making it crispy not soggy in the oven. Let the salted eggplant stand for 30 minutes. Look closely, do you see the beads of moisture? Rinse the slices with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Now let’s set up a breading station. Remember the order from making onion rings?http://wp.me/p57UhS-7s or when we made grits cakes? http://wp.me/p57UhS-aM If not, here’s a reminder of the 3 steps of a breading station. 1-Flour 2-Wet 3-Coat or my crazy little reminder, a “flower” that I have to water to wear on my coat! For the eggplant breading station, I have seasoned flour (garlic powder and creole seasoning), egg wash (1 TBSP water or milk to 1 egg) and Italian breadcrumbs and Panko crumbs. To help keep your fingers clean when breading, use one hand for the dry steps and the other hand for the wet step. Dip the eggplant slices into the flour, egg, then crumbs and place on a sheet pan lined with oven fried food’s BFF-parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 10 more minutes. While the eggplant is cooking, cut the cold lasagna into cubes and put into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the cheese begins to melt. Add 1 cup of cream (Heavy or 1/2 and 1/2) Depending on how much lasagna you have leftover, you may need more or less. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. The cream will gradually be reducing and thickening, like an Alfredo sauce. All that good lasagna cheese will make a rich sauce. Turn heat down to low for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
The eggplant slices can be layered with sauce in a gratin dish or the sauce can be ladled over the slices. I like a combination of both. I like to stack the eggplant with a little sauce (a little goes a long way) in between each slice.
That’s it! Of course, my cheeseaholic self needs a little more cheese, so I top it with some shredded Parmesan. This meal goes great with a Caesar salad and, of course, a glass of vino! After all, you deserve a little treat for making one square of lasagna into a whole meal for the family!
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: What kind of lasagna do you make? Seafood, Mexican, Vegetarian, Spinach? Mexican lasagna? Try it with oven fried zucchini, too. Don’t have any eggs? Remember you can substitute broth: chicken, beef, or vegetable for the egg wash. I love the way beef broth gently flavors the eggplant, I use it when making Eggplant Parmesan. Only have a little square of lasagna leftover? Make the sauce and use it for a dip for crusty bread or bread sticks or better yet, use it as a pizza sauce.
FOOD FUN: How good is your lasagna? Do you think it is worth $300, 000? Bruce Springsteen’s lasagna is worth that much. For a charity function, the Boss offered to make a lasagna dinner at his house for the highest bidder. Bet his guests were more than happy to take home and eat any lasagna leftovers!