Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a deep-dish (11 by 14) lasagna pan. Season the eggplant slices, flour, egg wash and bread crumbs with Essence. Dredge the eggplant in the flour. Dip each eggplant in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the eggplant in the bread crumbs, coating completely. In two large pans, over medium heat, add 1/2 cup of the oil to each pan. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the eggplant for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with Essence. Fry the eggplant in batches. To assemble, spread 2 cups of the lamb sauce over the bottom of the pan. Crumble 1/3 of the cheese over the lamb sauce. Lay 10 slices of the eggplant over the cheese. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Spread the Bichamel Sauce over the top and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with parsley.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
In a saucepan combine oil and flour, stirring it to a smooth paste. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 4 minutes, without letting the roux brown. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If sauce has any lumps, strain it before using.
In a large nonreactive saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the meat and season with salt and crushed red pepper. Brown the meat for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the tomato paste with the water and add to the tomatoes. Add the thyme, bay leaves, oregano, basil and red pepper. Mix well. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed. During the last 30 minutes or cooking, reseason with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: about 4 to 6 cups