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Question
Hi Jim,
I  am making a 9x13 casserole of eggplant with arborio rice and parmesan/mozzarella in a tomato sauce.  If I make this ahead, refrigerate, and cook it the next day will it be all right?  Everything is cooked before it is assembled in layers, and I was afraid it might make the eggplant too mushy.  What is your opinion or ideas?
Thanks so much,
Pat

Answer
Pat.  Thanks for the question.  Making the dish ahead should be fine.  Don't overcook any of the ingredients.  I would definitely take the casserole out of the refrigerator at least one hour before heating so it can come to room temperature. If you bake it straight from the refrigerator, the period while it heats in the oven from cold to warm may cause the eggplant to become mushy.


Then heat the casserole at 350-375 degrees or a bit higher until bubbly. I do this all the time.  The whole thing sounds delicious...comfort food.  Have a great meal!

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Jim Musumeci

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Cooking has been my passion for more than forty years, both professionally and at home. I welcome any cooking or food related questions, especially those concerning culinary techniques. My specialties are Italian and Puerto Rican cuisine, with skills in French and Southern style cooking as well. My nickname of “JimmyScones” came about from my love of creating flaky and delicious scones. Please ask questions on food preparation, techniques, ingredients, recipes, and recommended cookbooks. I CANNOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ON APPLIANCES OR APPLIANCE PARTS, OR ON OLDER OR VINTAGE COOKWARE OR ITS' MONETARY VALUE. I would also request no more than two part questions. Since we are volunteers, I must ask that you rate our answers when you have read them since that is the only way we know if are helping you. PLEASE, DO NOT MARK YOUR QUESTIONS AS "PRIVATE". I can only answer public questions and my site will make them public if there is no personal information within. Thanks and have a delicious day.

Experience

Cooking has been my passion and avocation for more than 45 years. My grandmother (‘Nani’) taught me the skills needed to cook a complete Sunday dinner by the time I was ten years old. I still treasure the memory of those magnificent aromas wafting through her kitchen. My background includes part time restaurant work and meal preparation for large organizations and churches, as well as planning and cooking hundreds of meals for dinner parties, family gatherings, and business functions. I have also completed several courses at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC. I run a food blog on www.flavorysavory.com.

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The Sussex Voice and The Suburban Trends.

Education/Credentials
3 Years college level courses in communications. Specialty courses at The Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC.

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Fraternal Organizations.

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