Our Family “New” Eggplant Discovery

My adventure into cooking actually began with my son-in-law, Conor!  He and my daughter moved in with us for two years right after law school as they were studying for the Nevada bar, getting their first jobs, and saving money for their first home.  For me, it was one of the happiest two years.  We had both of our children and one more, (as I always said we sent off two kids to college and got back three) living with us as adults.  This meant that we all left the house every morning to be a part of the working world, returned at night.  Everyone participated in the dinner process and cleaning up.  Whoever got home first would begin by setting the table and starting dinner.  I never had to say, make your beds, clean your room or is your homework done.  We would instead, sit around the dinner table, sometimes having a glass of wine depending upon the day we all had, and discussed the business of the community, or politics of the day, and argue about who was better the Angels or the Dodgers. (Conor lost that one 4-1). Some nights it was too late or too hot to cook, so we would opt for our favorite take out, Carrabba’s.  It seems we were all obsessed with their eggplant parmesean, especially Conor and me.  What was different about their eggplant is that it wasn’t breaded, and it didn’t seemed fried either, but it was instead slick, tender and sweet.  We tried and tried to duplicate the eggplant itself, frying it without breading. This always lead to it dripping in oil and tasting bitter and hard.  We tried making it without cooking it first, thinking that was the key that it became soft and less bitter during the baking of the parmesan casserole.  WRONG!!!  I tried over and over to duplicate that eggplant, and then one fateful day, it happened!!!     I decided to try grilling the eggplant on the Bar B Que.  I placed down foil and grilled it on the foil to a caramelized consistency.  Just before it became charred!  As I recollect, I was pulling it off the grill and placing it in the casserole I was going to use and I got a phone call.  Since the pot was out side, and I had only one hand, (the other one was one the phone), I covered the pot with the lid to keep the flies from attacking, and went inside where it was cooler to take my call. About 20 minutes later I returned to the eggplant, assuming I had ruined it, and what I found is that the eggplant had steamed itself, on top of itself with the lid on the pot into the perfect consistency that Conor and I had been trying to discover.  This steaming process, tenderized the eggplant and made it incredibly sweet, never bitter. And so……..the family Eggplant Recipe was born.  I will share pictures and a step by step process in my next blog. Thanks for listening, Enjoy each meal!

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