Eggplant Mozzarella Bake - Just Dutch Oven Recipes

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Eggplant Mozzarella Bake

4 tb Cooking oil
1 lb Lean ground beef (optional)
1 lg Bermuda onion
1/2 c Green pepper; chopped fine
1/4 ts Garlic salt
1 ts Oregano
1/4 ts Basil
1 Bay leaf
2 cn (20-oz) tomatoes; undrained
1 cn (6-oz) tomato paste
1 lg Eggplant
2 Eggs; beaten with
1 ts Water or milk
Seasoned flour
1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese; cut in small pieces
3/4 c Parmesan cheese; optional

xx Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven or skillet. Add beef, onion, green pepper, garlic salt, oregano, basil, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until meat is lightly browned and crumbly and vegetables soft. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; cook gently, uncovered, for about one hour and 45 minutes or until thickened and seasonings are well blended. Meanwhile, wash and peel eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices. Soak slices in water 20 minutes; drain well on absorbant paper. Dip slices in egg, then coat in seasoned flour. Heat remaining oil in skillet; sauté eggplant on both sides until golden brown. Drain well on absorbant paper. Spread some tomato sauce in the bottom of a well-greased l3x9x2 inch baking dish. Top with layer of eggplant, layer of Mozzarella cheese and sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, finishing with sauce and cheeses. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serve with crisp green salad, Italian Bread sticks and your favorite wine. Meat may be omitted and extra cheese substituted. Eggplant and sauce can be prepared in the morning and assembled and popped into the oven at the last minute.

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