Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baked Eggplants

Man, I'm not even going to pretend like I've been paying attention to eating well. I skipped a few cooking classes, I ate waaaay to much fried food and I had to kick a vampire in the balls on the way home from work on Monday. It's definitely been a weird couple of weeks. I know there are hard times ahead, though, so it's time to stop wallowing in my own chocolate-covered misery (mmmm, chocolate) and get back to the mission at hand. There's serious fighting to be done next week and I'll be damned if we're not fueled up for it. Let's all have a little extra something in preparation, shall we?

Baked Eggplants
adapted from “Mmmm… Casseroles: delicious recipes you’ll be unable to resist”

3 Tbs. Olive Oil, plus extra for oiling
4 Eggplants
10 ½ g Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Tomato Sauce
4 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 large Onion, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
14oz canned Chopped Tomatoes
1 lb fresh Tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 Tbs chopped fresh Parsley
2 ½ cups hot vegetable stock
1 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
2/3 cup Dry White Wine
Salt and Pepper

White Sauce
2 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour
1 ¼ cups Milk
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a large, ovenproof dish.

2. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and fry until just beginning to soften. Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, parsley, stock, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the wine and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Thinly slice the eggplants lengthwise. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook the eggplant slices for fifteen minutes. Drain on paper towels.

4. Pour half the tomato sauce into the prepared dish with half the eggplants and drizzle with the oil. Cover with half the mozzarella and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat the layers.

5. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the flour. Stir until smooth and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Slowly beat in the milk. Simmer gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, then season to taste with a little nutmeg, salt and pepper.

6. Spoon the white sauce over the eggplant-and-tomato mixture, then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is golden. Serve immediately.

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