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Boston stuffed eggplant

ingredients

serves 4
2 Medium aubergines (eggplants), halved lengthways and degorged
75 ml (3 fl oz) 3/8 cup Olive oil
40 g (1 1/2 oz) 3 Tbs Butter
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
225 g (8 oz) 2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
4 Tbs Grated Parmesan cheese

for the bechamel sauce

25 g (1 oz) 2 Tbs Butter
2 Tbs Flour
125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup Milk
125 ml (4 floz) 1/2 cup Stock

method

1. Squeeze the aubergines (eggplants) to remove as much liquid as possible, then dry with kitchen towels.

2. Preheat the oven to fairly hot 200°C (Gas Mark 6, 400°F).

3. Heat the oil in a large frying-pan. Put the aubergine (eggplant) halves in the pan and cook until they are lightly and evenly browned. Transfer to a plate.

4. Wipe out the pan and add the butter. When it has melted, add the onion and fry until it is soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and cayenne and transfer to a bowl.

5. Using a spoon, scoop out the aubergine (eggplant) flesh, leaving the skins intact. Add the flesh to the vegetable mixture and blend thoroughly. Carefully spoon about a quarter of the mixture into each aubergine (eggplant) shell.

6. To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the . heat and stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the milk and stock and return to the heat. Bring to the boil, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the sauce is thick and smooth.

7. Put the stuffed aubergines (eggplants) into a shallow baking dish and pour over the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Put the dish into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Serve at once.

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