Patty, our SP9 hostess has come up with a new contest. To win, one has to post about a memory/memories attached to a favorite recipe! Two winners will be chosen. M favorite recipe is my mother's stuffed eggplant Parmesan. It didn't start as a family tradition, but quickly became one! I was in high school at the time. My mother and her friends at work would have recipe swaps based on dishes brought to company potluck lunches or Christmas parties. By popular demand we started making it for all holiday family/friend get-togethers. In fact, my aunt who lives in FLA. called this summer to say she was coming up to visit and would I make the "eggplant" and bring it to the family barbecue. During the holidays my mother and my sister and I would prepare it together. Each cutting up a different vegetable. It was a time for us to share gossip, talk about what was going on in our lives or just to get downright silly about some event or crazy situation!
Like the time my sister's new boyfriend pulled into the driveway to pick her up for a date (She was a high school senior). My father came around to the front of the house, when he heard a car in the driveway. He was absentmindedly swinging an axe while walking down the driveway to the car! With a look of horror, my sister's date whispered "Is Kim home?" My father had forgotten he had the axe in his hand(cutting dead branches off a tree). When he realized why the boy had a such a look of shock/horror...He laughed and said "Don't worry, I always wait until the second date to make a decision!
In the meantime, to the boy's relief, Kim came outside and off they went on their date. My sister later told as they drove away he said: "What did you tell your father about me!!"
Stories, hopes and dreams have been shared while making this recipe. Here is the recipe below. Enjoy!
Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
(it makes a lot!)
1 chopped pepper (any color you like!)
1 tablespoon garlic (more or less as you like it)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I've also used canola or vegetable)
1 box fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup seasoned croutons
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
If you want to "stuff" the mixture back into the eggplant skins, then slice the eggplant lengthwise and scoop the eggplant out to make "boats". Then when the mixture is cooked, it's put into the eggplant boats and covered with sauce and cheese, then baked.
Me, I do it the lazy way. I peel the skin from the eggplant, cube it and put the mixture in a foil lined or no stick pan like a casserole.
First, cut up the pepper and mushrooms. In a pot or a large pan, heat the olive oil: ADD peppers, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute, until the peppers and mushrooms are starting to soften/cook. Add cubed eggplant a little at a time until its all mixed together. Cook until, the eggplant becomes slightly translucent. At this point, if the mixture looks a little dry, you can add a little more olive oil or a little water to moisten. When eggplant is cooked ADD: 1 egg, breadcrumbs, and croutons. Mix it all together and heat for about 3-5 more minutes. Its ready to put in a pan. Pour tomato sauce over the mixture and then the mozzarella cheese. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and slightly brown.