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EGGPLANT CREOLE 
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 small hot pepper, seeds and core removed (optional)
1 large eggplant
4 large tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 1 large can)
1 cup cooked, cubed beef or pork
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 green bell pepper
3-4 mushrooms, diced

Chop onion and sauté in olive oil until lightly browned on edges (about 5 minutes over medium high heat).

Wash eggplant and peel skin. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Sauté in the same olive oil and onions, with garlic over high heat, stirring often for 5 minutes. If you like spicy food, add any type of hot pepper, depending on the amount of heat desired. Remove core and seeds to reduce heat, and leave whole so that it can be removed halfway through the cooking, if needed.

Add tomatoes and basil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add 1 cup cooked meat (good for using leftovers), 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add mushrooms. Cook until meat is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish top with green bell pepper rings (or jalapeno rings if you like it hot).

Serve.

Submitted by: CM
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