Smoky Turkish Eggplant Cream (Hunkar Begendi)

  • 1 ½ Lbs eggplant
  • juice of 1 lemon 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt

Puncture the skin of the eggplants with a fork two or three times then char the skins on all sides either over coals or under the broiler (the flesh will become quite soft in the process).  Remove the charred skin and any hard seeds then drop the eggplant into cold water to which you’ve added the lemon juice (to preserve the color), and let stand 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat.  Stir in the flour then cook stirring until the flour is golden.  Whisk in the milk and continue to cook stirring until smooth.  Set over low heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes more stirring occasionally.  Drain the eggplant squeezing to remove excess water.  Mash the eggplant with a potato masher then add to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring, over low heat.  Stir in the cheese and salt to taste.  Serve hot.