Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

...or A Sneaky Way to Use Rice Krispies

Two weeks ago cod was on sale at the super market. I love fish and needed something for dinner so I bought some. I've always loved fish but it is difficult to find gluten-free fish at restaurants so I haven't had any in a long while. Now I've never actually cooked fish myself so I was at a loss for how to turn my cold wet fish fillet into supper. 

At a restaurant I use to work at they would bread their fish and bake it with lemon. Obviously the breading was not gluten-free and gluten-free bread crumbs are a little pricey so that was out. I, however, had remembered that you can use crushed rice cereal as breading on a lot of different things. And I just happen to have a few boxes of gluten-free rice krispies that otherwise were just going to be hanging out in my pantry.

I promptly crushed them, added some salt and pepper, covered my fish in them and prayed for 14 minutes while my oven was at 400 degrees. My fishy prayers were answered and I had a delicious piece of fish completely covered in what very closely resembled breadcrumbs.

Anyway this brings me back to this Sunday when my Mom and I were at Trader Joe's stocking up on gluten-free things. They always have samples and last week's was eggplant parmesan. This gave us the idea to make eggplant parm at home for dinner. Now you can make it with just slices of eggplant, which are obviously gluten-free but when given the chance to bread and fry things in our Fry Daddy we generally jump at the chance.

Here is when my rice krispies came into play again. See the picture below? Looks like regular breading right? Nope. It's just mashed up rice cereal!

We also grabbed two small eggplants instead of a large one because we hate seeds! The smaller ones are much better and much more flavorful. We proceeded to peel the eggplants, although this step isn't necessary, and chop them relatively thickly. We then dunked them in an egg wash and the rice krispie mash to which we added basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

The best part about using the Fry Daddy is the fact that you don't have to flip them and worry about the coating sliding off or you burning yourself. Since we were going to be baking them we fried them for a short time, until they were a light golden brown.

We took the finished eggplant slices and layered them in a baking dish with slices of fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. We could have used some parmesan but I couldn't find any that didn't cost $15. We then baked it at 350 for 20 minutes.

It was absolutely delicious. The rice breading worked amazingly well. It gave the eggplant a crunchy and very light breading very unlike some eggplant parm I've had elsewhere. No one even knew what the breading was. It even fooled my father who normally wouldn't even eat something if he had any inkling that it might be gluten-free. I've never tried it but if you have some rice chex I bet those would work too! So I highly recommend giving those gluten-free rice krispies a try, if not in your cereal bowl then most definitely in your next fried dish!


  1. This is awesome. I recognized that I was gluten intolerant about 2 1/2 years ago. I just bought some super expensive gluten free bread crumbs online, and they are okay, but it would be nice to find something cheaper. Hubby and I adore eggplant parmesan, so I am definitely going to try this next time around. Thanks for the heads up.

    Also, I had to laugh at the comment about your dad. My dad was the same way. I invited him to dinner one night and served him turkey ham. He raved and raved about it, not having the foggiest clue that it was turkey. If he'd known before hand, he would have never tried it.

    1. I love the rice krispy breading because it doesn't get soggy the same way some bread crumbs do and they are definitely cheaper!

      It's so funny getting people to try gluten-free things, I usually feel like a parent trying to get vegetables into a four year old! But hey if they don't like it, more for us!