Thursday, February 9, 2012

Moussaka...with Grilled Eggplant, not Fried

One of my absolute favorite foods is Moussaka (commonly and incorrectly referred to as Greek lasagna).  I loooooove it.  My father was Middle Eastern and I grew up eating it all the time.  Traditionally, moussaka is made using fried eggplant slices and if you have ever cooked with eggplant before, you know that it absorbs oil like a sponge.  This version saves you a few calories by grilling the eggplant and other veggies instead of frying them and I must say, you don't miss the "fried" part at all. Another bonus is that it doesn't mess your stove and kitchen up with all the splattering that frying comes with.  This recipe is delicious.  I stumbled upon it about a year ago on one of the large internet recipe sites.  It was posted by a woman with a Greek name so I just knew it would be good....and it did not disappoint.  Below are a few pictures along with the recipe to follow.  Hope you like it as much as I do.

Baking away in the oven...
Browning nicely, almost ready to come out!
Serve on a bed of rice pilaf...delicious AND nutritious!

Grilled Eggplant Moussaka

3 large eggplant, sliced into
  1/4 inch rounds
3 large potatoes, thinly sliced
3 large zucchini, cut lengthwise     
  into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt to taste
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat an outdoor grill on medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
Brush eggplant, potatoes, and zucchini lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. Grill vegetables until just tender and golden brown. Layer potatoes into the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish or casserole. Next layer in the eggplant, followed by the zucchini; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook until the flour smells slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in milk, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Place the egg yolk into a bowl, and quickly whisk in 1/4 cup of the thickened milk, a tablespoon at a time. Quickly stir the egg yolk mixture into the thickened milk until smooth, then set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the ground beef and onion, and cook until the beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain off any excess grease, then stir in the oregano, parsley, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To assemble, spread the meat mixture over the vegetables, and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Pour the white sauce over the top, and smooth with a spatula.

Bake moussaka in a 375 degree preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.


No comments: