Aired April 19, 2017
Parmigiana is certainly the definition of Italian comfort food and Rachael herself is no stranger to the cooking technique of slicing, breading and frying (usually eggplant), layering with sauce and cheese, and baking.
“I have made parm everything,” she says. “Chicken, pork, beef, eggplant, tilapia, sole… there’s nothing I can not crust in Parmigiana cheese.”
In fact, Rach even made an eggplant parm for one of the Beatles! (Watch the video to see which one loved her recipe so much, he even took the recipe home.)
MAKE: Pork 'Parm' with Polenta and Marinara Sauce
And while we all know Rach is an expert, the perfect parm is hard to find, which is why we created a challenge...Rach’s first-ever Parm-Off.
Competing for the top Parm honors: Cosmo and Enza DePinto from Cosmo’s in Hackensack, NJ and Julia and Joe from JJ’s Italian Kitchen in Hamden, CT.
The secret to Cosmo and Enza’s incredible chicken parm might be the breadcrumbs sprinkled on top and Julia says she and Joe credit their success to adding a little something extra to their food.
“Both of our grandmothers taught us to cook with love and [told us] you can taste it in the food.” Julia said. We agree!
MAKE: Chicken Parm Meatballs
While the contestants got busy whipping up their parm creations, Rachael wrangled three judges to determine the winners. And who better to decide than three nonnas? Elisa Costantini, author of the “Italian Moms Cookbook” and two of our favorite Italian grandmas, Carmela Paradiso and Beatrice Testa, came by to do some taste-testing.
Nothing parm-related is going to be bad, but which parm did the judges deem the best? Watch the video below to find out who the judges (and Rach!) found to be the winner of the Parm-Off!
MAKE: Eggplant Parm Bites