Thursday, August 1, 2013


What what?! An oven-baked dish right smack in the middle of a heat wave? Girl, you cray-cray!

But let me explain the rationale behind this rather unconventional choice for a meal in July:

July = hot = beautiful weather = beach = Mediterranean sea = Greece = Moussaka. See? Barely convoluted :D

INGREDIENTS (for 4 people):
- 2lbs eggplants
for the meat sauce: 
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15oz can diced tomato, with juice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/8 ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste

for the white sauce:
- 2 cups of milk (normally whole, but I used skim)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated feta cheese

- preheat your oven at 350F
- slice the eggplants thinly (~1/8 inch), salt them and put them on a dish cloth for an hour so they can release water

- in the mean time, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes on medium-low heat, until translucent and soft

- add the meat and brown for a few minutes on high heat until cooked through

- add the remaining ingredients for the meat sauce, stir well and let simmer covered for about an hour on low heat

- while the meat sauce is cooking, prepare the white sauce: start with a roux. Melt the butter over medium heat, and add the flour, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. It will bubble and fluff up

- add the milk in one go, and whisk immediately to avoid lumps. cook for a few minutes on medium-low heat, until the sauce thickens to pancake batter consistency

- remove from heat and stir in the grated feta cheese and beaten egg; reserve on the side until ready to assemble the Moussaka

- when your white sauce is cooling and the meat sauce is finishing cooking, shallow fry the eggplant slices (patted dry). To minimize the oil intake, I used a cooking spray and fried the slices in batch, about 1-2 minutes per side over medium-high heat

- you can now proceed to the assembly: start with a layer of eggplants, and spread half of the meat sauce on top, then add a second eggplant layer, other half of the meat sauce and finish with a third eggplant layer. Pour the white sauce on top and smooth out with a spatula

- bake in a 350F oven for an hour, until beautifully golden

- enjoy!!

PS: this keeps extremely well and tastes even better reheated. You can also freeze leftovers in batches and enjoy your Moussaka during cold winter days :)

1 comment:

  1. I love cooking food that when eaten transfers you to another place (in your mind). I can see how your Moussaka could do that.