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From, "Atlanta Cooknotes," published in cooperation with your Daily InBox newsletter.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium-sized eggplants
  • Salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or beef
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk, scalded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


TO PREPARE:

Peel 1/2-inch strips lengthwise from eggplant so that it looks striped.  Cut eggplant into 3/4-inch-thick rounds.  Sprinkle with salt; set aside between two heavy plates to extract excess fluid.  In a frying pan, saute lamb and onions in 4 tablespoons butter; drain.  Add tomato paste, parsley, wine, salt, pepper, and water.  Simmer until liquid is reduced.  Cool.  Stir in cinnamon, eggs, 1/2-cup cheese, and 1/4-cup bread crumbs; reserve.  In a saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter and blend in flour.  Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk.  Return to heat, cooking and stirring until sauce is thickened.  Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  In a bowl, add a little of the hot sauce to the egg yolks, beating well.  Pour egg mixture into remaining sauce, stirring and cooking for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Brown eggplant on both sides in olive oil.  More oil may be added if needed.  Sprinkle 1/4-cup bread crumbs in a buttered 3-quart casserole.  Cover with alternating layers of eggplant and reserved lamb mixture, ending with eggplant.  Pour sauce over all and sprinkle with 1/4-cup cheese.  Recipe is better if prepared a day ahead, and baked immediately before serving.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

SERVES: 10 - 12

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