Deep Fried Eggplant

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1 1/4 pounds eggplant, washed and peeled
1 tablespoon flour
1-1/4 cups peanut oil (for deep-frying; sautéing requires less)
3 medium onions, peeled and minced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 (14-1/2 to 15-ounce) can tomato soup
1 (14-1/2-ounce) can tomatoes
6 medium tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice the eggplant into 1/8-inch rounds. Salt and let stand for one hour. Rinse off the salt. Dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with flour.

2. Deep-fry the eggplant in 1-1/4 cups oil heated to 320 degrees in a deep saucepan until lightly browned. If you'd prefer, sauté the eggplant in a heavy frying pan, using as much oil as necessary. Drain the eggplant. Keep warm and set aside.

3. Sauté the onions and green pepper over medium heat in 2 to 4 tablespoons oil until soft. Transfer to a large pot. Add the soup, canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. To serve, place the eggplant on a large platter. Spoon the sauce over the eggplant.

Note: The eggplant can be made ahead. If you prefer, grease a medium-sized casserole. Layer the eggplant and sauce in the casserole. When you are ready, reheat the casserole in a 350-degree oven until the sauce is warm and bubbly.

Makes 4 servings

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