Thursday, March 6, 2008

μουσακάς OR Greece and Grease and Geeks, Oh MY!


Now that I've written the post title, I've realized that I'm used the "oh my" line before. Let no one tell you that I'm original :) And speaking of not being original, I did a mish-mash recipe steal from the Tyler Florance show I saw today for dinner this evening. For those who read Greek, or can tell what this post is about from the picture above (really? can anyone tell?), I made a me-version of Moussaka. In case its not clear - the Greece is pretty straight forward, the Grease is cause I should have used leaner beef, and the Geeks - well I guess its just one geek, me.

The me-version of something is usually about substitution. I'm willing to buy a set of ingredients, but everything else will just have to be substituted for what we have in the house. For this Moussaka, I used 2% milk instead of whole and cream mixture, parmesan cheese for layering, tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes, and cut the eggs out of the bechamel. Also, Tyler's recipe doesn't call for a bechamel, but instead adding feta in the layers. BOO Moussaka HAS to have bechamel. This turned out tasting totally delicious, but I can't say it looks very pretty. The layers didn't set the way I would have liked, but I would still make this again and again.

Moussaka
1 lb ground meat (I used beef, but I've also used lamb)
2 large eggplants, ends cut off, peeled and sliced into 1/2 thick slices
1 medium size onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
olive oil
salt and pepper
oregano and basil
1/4 cup butter
1/4 flour
2 cups milk
parmesan cheese
nutmeg
cinnamon

Salt and pepper the eggplant slices. Brown both sides of slices of eggplant in an even layer with a tbs of olive oil in a saute pan. It will probably be necessary to do this in batches. Add olive oil as necessary. After browning, let the pieces drain on a paper towel.

Add the onion and garlic with some olive oil into a pan. When the onions become translucent, add the meat and brown on med heat. Salt and pepper. After the meat has brown, add 1/2 cup white wine and let reduce. Add in tomato sauce, basil and oregano (a shake of each) to the pan. Add a final shake of cinnamon. Season more if necessary.

To make bechamel: melt butter in a sauce pan and add flour. Wisk, cooking for 5-10 minutes. Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove before adding to the roux. Add to the roux and wisk until sauce thickens significantly. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Grate 1/4 cup cheese into sauce and stir.

To assemble: In an 8x8 (I used a 9 inch pie plate) place a layer of eggplant into the bottom. Spread half the meat sauce over the eggplant. Grate a thin layer of cheese on top of the meat sauce. Add the rest of the eggplant in a layer, the rest of the meat sauce, more cheese and then pour the bechamel over top. Grate some more cheese over the bechamel and bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Let the Moussaka rest for 30 minutes, then EAT!

7 comments:

Peter M said...

Randi, despite not using eggs for your bechamel topping, it does look very appetizing.

Next time, ensure your sauce is thicker and allow the Mooosaka to rest before cutting (20 minutes).

bbaking said...

My mum used to make a lovely moussaka. I made it once and it was not good, maybe I should try your recipe because it sure looks good! mmmm

Ethan722 said...

Original or not, this seems like an impressive piece of cookery. I think I remember having bechamell in Spain and I think I remember it being very good. I can't imagine making anything like this - which should come as no surprise - kitchen success to me is spaghetti and pre-cooked meatballs with cold sauce. I was very successful in my kitchen last evening.

Brianna & Dustin said...

yum. I'm a fan of moussaka! Oh, and thanks for your comment on my blog. Looking forward to seeing your rendition of macha creams :) nihongo ga jyozu desune!

Kevin said...

That moussaka looks really good. Just look at the golden brown top!

katiez said...

I've never used eggs in bechamel... but I've never made bechamel for a Greek recipe - could be different.
Regardless, I think it looks positvely drool-worthy... and calorie worthy, too.

We Are Never Full said...

Ahhhh, bechamel... sorry, I just woke up from my daydream.

There is something about browned potatoes or cheese that looks like it was just under the broiler that gets me EVERY time. It just makes it look so appetizing!! And to answer Ethan 722 - bechamel is not only good, it's amazing. Try putting it in your lasagna for a rich, delicious treat!!

amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

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