Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eggplant Casserole

On one of my last nights in the Berkshires, I broke my vow to get through with New England before going on to the next section, and made eggplant casserole. This was because I had all the ingredients in my refrigerator, and I was leaving in another two days. This dish is good, but it would have been better if I had gotten the liquid out of the eggplant. I did go through the sprinkle with salt and let stand for twenty minutes routine but there was still a lot of liquid in the casserole.
I managed to light the oven without burning any body parts or making loud suspicious noises. It was a hot night, but the fans helped. It's amazing what a difference window fans make. There's no air conditioning in my place, but even on the hottest nights, the window fans help me sleep.
One minor drawback in making the casserole was the lack of a casserole dish with a lid. I used aluminum foil and made a tent over the souffle dish I used to bake the casserole. The point of the tent was to keep the foil off the cheese. If the foil had been allowed to touch the cheese, I would have wound up with all the cheese sticking to the aluminum foil. Even so, the cheese ended up hard and overbaked.
Even though one has to light the oven, this is a good summer recipe, because you can get fresh summer ingredients. The next morning, as we were trying to pack the car with our belongings, the dog's belongings, the dog, and stray boxes of stuff we had left from the year before, I stood over the sink and ate huge drippy mouthfuls of it cold. It wasn't bad, but, as I said, there was too much liquid.

Eggplant Casserole

l medium size eggplant
1/4 cup oil
4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2 green peppers cored, seeded and sliced
2 onions finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
\1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Let stand twenty minutes. Rinse, drain and pat dry. Heat the oil in a skilled and saute the eggplant slices in it until browned on both sides.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. In a greased casserole alternate a layer of eggplant slices with a layer of tomatoes, green peppers, onions and garlic. Season each tomato layer with sugar, salt to taste pepper and thyme.
4. 4. Top with the cheese. Cover and bake ten minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake casserole thirty minutes longer, or until eggplant is tender. Makes six servings.

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