Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I don't get it. Really I don't.

I may have mentioned before that I don't really see eye to eye with many of my neighbors. Not in the sense of not getting along with them but in the sense that I don't understand them.

I went to an open house for the family of one of Sean's friends - they were moving away. I dropped in just for a bit to visit and then to collect my son who'd been there all day. Several people had brought along goodies to share and we were awaiting the pizza that was anticipated at any moment. My next door neighbor wandered by with a plate that looked tasty and I asked him what it was - eggplant casserole. Yum. Never mind the pizza - just let me have some of that.

I was enjoying it and another neighbor from down the street, whom I had been chatting with, was also digging in, when she commented that it was extremely difficult to make, it just took hours. I was startled and made some comment to the effect that I really didn't think so. I hadn't made it for a while, but it wasn't that hard. She was rather offended (why? she didn't make it, I knew that) and started explaining just how it was made and how complicated it was. I nodded along and when she was through, mentioned a variation that I liked to make with it. This apparently was sufficient to feel that I wasn't belittling the dish and she soothed her feathers and we talked of other things.

I hadn't made it for a while and I do like it and the eggplant looked good at the store today and I'd cheese left over from the weekend, so I made it this afternoon.

2 eggplants (the larger ones, fresh and not woody)
bread crumbs
romano cheese
mozzarella cheese (asiago cheese, parmesan cheese, as available)
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Peel the eggplants. Slice into 1/4-3/8 inch slices. Dip in milk. Dip in bread crumbs mixed with grated romano cheese. Saute in oil. (Eggplant drink oil. Use a nonstick pan, but they are going to drink the oil up). Blot on paper towels.

Blend the tomato sauce and tomatoes in a blender. Grate the cheese(s) (about 3/4 cup grated cheese).

Layer eggplant slices, tomato sauce and grated cheese in a casserole dish, beginning with eggplant and ending with cheese. Bake at 350 F for approximately 45 minutes or until lightly brown on top and bubbling at the endges. A fork should go in easily.

It took 35 minutes from start of the peeling to putting it in the oven, and another 45 minutes to bake.

I just don't get the 'it's really hard and complicated' thing.


Helen said...

It sounds delicious!

Elizabeth said...

It was!

bibliotecaria said...

Just remember, like any craft, cooking from scratch can be hard for some people and easy for others. (For example, bread-baking is no biggie for me, but my mother is intimidated by yeast.)

Katherine said...

And even easier and lighter on the oil, if you want it lighter, is to bake the eggplant instead of frying.