Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shortcut Moussaka

This dish brought on a debate about food between Curtis and I. Curtis was sure moussaka had mashed potatoes. I thought very otherwise. I looked up moussaka on wikipedia and learned all sorts of interesting things about moussaka (it traditionally doesn't have any sort of potatoes) and Greek cuisine (such as the name of the Father of Greek chefs whose name is now synonymous with cookbook). Authentic moussaka would contain lamb instead of beef, but I have a quarter cow in my freezer, so beef it is!

We all loved this. I was worried about what it was going to taste like because I was cooking under much duress--two children crying at all times (which two alternated) or screaming at each other as loud as they could (this is why I have no process pictures.....ever). By the time we sat down and ate, finally, we all gobbled up the meal. I halved it because the recipe serves 12, but splitting 3 eggs in half is always a little tricky (I used 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk). I also used a 6 oz can of tomato paste plus 1/2 c of water instead of the tomato sauce (I didn't think I had any sauce). Another great way to eat eggplant.

Shortcut Moussaka
from Bon Appetit
serves 12

1/4 c olive oil
2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 c dry red wine
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 t dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 c milk
3 eggs
1 c Parmesan cheese, grated

1 lg eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs), peeled and sliced into thin rounds

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat olive oil and add ground beef and chopped onion. Cook until beef is browned. Mix in tomato sauce, red wine, parsley, oregano, and cinnamon. Simmer until mixture thickens and is almost dry, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir constantly 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Boil until thick, stirring almost constantly. Beat eggs in a small, heatproof bowl. Whisk small amount of milk into eggs. Pour egg mixture into saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Remove custard from heat. Stir in 1/2 c Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange half of eggplant in buttered 9 x 13" baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Spread meat mixture over. Top with remaining eggplant. Pour hot custard cheese sauce over eggplant. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking until golden and bubbling on the edges, about 10 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving to allow to set up.

1 comment:

Darcy said...

I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good! Thanks again Mel for sharing all your wonderfulness with the world. I love this blog.