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Creole Eggplant Souffle

2 T Butter

1 x Med Onion, finely chopped

1 x Med stalk celery, diced

2 x Cloves Garlic, minced

1 T Unbleached white Flour

2 T Minced fresh parsley

1 T Minced fresh basil

1/2 t Dried Thyme

1/2 c Whole or low-fat Milk

1 x Lg Eggplant , peeled & diced

1/2 c Fresh, soft bread crumbs

1 c Grated white cheese *

3 x Eggs, separated, room temp.

1 ds Cayenne pepper

* firmly packed grated mild white cheese of your choice Preheat oven to 350 deg F. In a large skillet, heat butter till it foams. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and saute over low heat until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring until well blended. Add the herbs and saute, stirring until the mixture just begins to brown. Add the milk and the diced eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs). Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is quite tender. Add a bit of water from time to time if necessary, just enough to keep the bottom of the skillet moist. Remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper to taste, cayenne, and 3 egg yolks. In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold them gently into the eggplant mixture. Pour the mixture into a well-oiled 1 1/2 qt baking casserole or souffle pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Let the souffle sit for 5 minutes, then serve at once. Serves 4-6.

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