Preparation time: 50 min
Serves: 4 easily
2 medium eggplants
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground beef ( try and get as lean as possible so as to not make the dish too oily)
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup half-and-half cream ( or milk)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (can use more)
Peel the eggplants, slice 1/4-inch thick.
Brush cookie sheet with oil.
Coat each side of sliced eggplant with oil then season slices with salt and pepper.
Place the eggplant slices on cookie sheet; broil under the broiler until brown; turn and broil the other side, brushing with oil if needed; repeat with all eggplant slices. ( i do this at the same time that i am cookingthe meat as described below to save time)
In the bottom of a greased 9 x 9-inch or a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, arrange half of the eggplant slices.
In a large skillet, combine beef and onions; cook, stirring until the beef is no longer pink, and the onions are soft; drain fat ( very important bit).
Add in the garlic, tomato sauce, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste; pour mixture over eggplant slices. ( frankly I just add garlic and store bough pasta sauce and flavor with salt and pepper for more flavour)
Arrange the remaining eggplant slices over the beef mixture.
PREPARE THE CHEESE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste; gradually stir in half and half or milk ( use cream if you want a thick sauce), cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
In a small bowl, beat egg; stir in some of the hot sauce, then add egg to sauce mixture, mix well; add in Parmesan cheese, and stir again.
Pour the cheese sauce over mixture in baking dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 35 minutes.