Thursday, October 4, 2012


Moussaka is sort of a Greek lasagna that uses eggplant instead of noodles. Sort of. If this looks like too much work, try SIMPLIFIED MOUSSAKA instead. You cook the meat and vegetables together and make a single layer of that, then pour the custard over the top. It's not quite as fancy, but just as good!

(from a recipe in Carb Wars, by Judy Barnes Baker, 2007)

2 globe or 6 Asian eggplants (about 2 lbs)
5 T olive oil

For the tomato sauce:
1 small onion, peeled and chopped (about ½ cup)
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 T tomato paste
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 fresh tomato, peeled and chopped, or 1 c diced canned tomatoes
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c beef broth or water (you might not need this if you start with a fresh tomato)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the custard:
2 T butter
1 c heavy cream
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
2 eggs beaten with a fork
Salt and pepper to taste

6 T grated Parmesan

Peel the eggplant and cut into 3/8” slices.  Salt both sides of the slices and place in a colander set over a bowl.  Put a heavy dish on top to press out the liquid.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Rinse to remove the salt and blot the slices with paper towels until dry.  Heat oil for frying in a large skillet and sauté the eggplant on both sides until golden brown.  Remove the eggplant and set aside.  (Or brush the eggplant with olive oil and put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes per side instead.  It will be quicker.  Don’t let the thinner slices burn.)

To make the tomato sauce:  Add the onion to the pan in which the eggplant was cooked and sauté until soft.  Add the meat and continue to cook, stirring, until brown.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

To make the custard: Heat the butter and cream on low in a small saucepan, while stirring, until smooth.  Add the nutmeg.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Dip out a little of the hot cream mixture and mix it with the beaten eggs to temper. Stir the egg mixture back into the pan and blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the moussaka:  Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9”x13” baking dish.  Put one third of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the greased baking dish, cover with half the meat sauce, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese.  Repeat.  Use the last one third of the eggplant slices to make the top layer and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Pour the custard evenly over the dish and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. 

No comments:

Post a Comment