Home cooking: Rice with eggplant

July 03, 2012

Heather Carter lives in Cascade. She is a member of One Mountain Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote educational programs, historical preservation, community improvements, cultural activities and projects that benefit the greater Cascade-Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., area.

Carter was born in Hagerstown, but grew up on or near U.S. Navy bases across the country.

Her family came back to Hagerstown for holidays to visit relatives. She said she remembered her aunts' cooking — cold pickles, molded salads and shrimp casseroles.

"That was years before I was interested in cooking," Carter said.

Now she has collected many old family recipes, including examples from her aunts, her father, her husband and his mother. Many of these were gathered in "Mountain Heritage Cooking Collection," a cookbook recently published by One Mountain Foundation.

The book has 300 recipes, including many submitted by other foundation members.

Carter said this rice with eggplant dish is a Cape Cod favorite.

"When we lived in Newport (R.I.), we vacationed on Cape Cod. I found this recipe in a cookbook," Carter said. "I was trying to find a recipe I would enjoy, and I didn't want to do a clam chowder.

Copies of "Mountain Heritage Cooking Collection" cost $15 and are available at Fort Ritchie Community Center, or go to www.onemountainfoun

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

Rice with eggplant

1 cup rice

1 quart boiling water

6 tablespoons butter

1 onion, sliced

1 pint tomato juice

1 large eggplant

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs

Rinse rice and place in pot with hot water. Simmer without stirring for 15 minutes. Drain.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and fry onion.

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch slices, sprinkle with salt, and let stand. Drain extra fluid from eggplant.

Remove onion from pan and add remaining butter. Fry eggplant slices.

Combine rice, fried rice and fried onion. Salt to taste, and add tomato juice.

Butter an oven-proof baking dish. Pour into baking dish, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until browned.

—Courtesy of Heather Carter, member of One Mountain Foundation, based in Cascade.

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