Melanzane Al Forno (Eggplant In Batter)

Course : Eggplant
Serves: 8
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4 medium eggplants
2 tablespoons coarse grained salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 pound solid shortening
2 tablespoons milk -- cold
1 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper
4 ounces prosciutto cheese
10 pieces italian parsley

Preparation / Directions:

Cut off the top part of the eggplants. Peel the eggplants. Slice the eggplants crosswise into slices less than 1/4 " thick. Place the slices in a large colander over a large bowl. Sprinkle liberally with the coarse grained salt. Place a dish on the eggplants as a weight to help squeeze out the bitter liquid. Let stand for about 20 minutes. Heat the solid shortening in a deep fryer. Wash the eggplant slices carefully in cold water to remove all traces of th salt. Pat dry with paper towels. Line a serving dish with paper towels. Lightly flour the eggplant slices. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Deep fry the eggplant slices, a few at a time, until they are lightly golde brown on both sides (about 3 minutes). Remove the slices from the or deep fryer and place on the prepared serving dish to drain. Sprinkle the fried eggplant slices lightly with salt. Cut the prosciutto into small pieces. Coarsely chop the parsley and marjoram together on a board. Transfer these ingredients to a large bowl. Add the eggs and milk. Mix well with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste. Butter a (13 1/2"x8 3/4"x1 3/4") oven safe baking dish. Place the eggplant slices in the baking dish in layers. Pour the egg and seasoning mixture over. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately from the baking dish. Use a knife to cut portions. Serve portions using a spatula.

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