SOCIAL MEDIA

Moussaka


I think that I need to officially rename this week "All Greek Week".  I'm either back in my sorority days or I'm thoughtfully reminiscing about our recent vacation to Greece.  I also wanted to mention that my thoughts and prayers are with all of those in Greece that are suffering from the terrible fires.  I can't imagine the loss and devastation.  Praying for no more lives lost.  



As I'm remembering my time in beautiful Greece, one of the fabulous things that Darla and Lindsay arranged during our Mykonos trip was a catered dinner several times during the week.  (It's pretty difficult for 21 people to dine out anywhere.)  We had Moussaka at least twice and I fell pretty hard.  All of the layers.  I loved the fresh, seasonal vegetables, the fragrant herbs, and the rich and creamy Bechamel sauce.  


When my husband asked "What smells so fantastic?" and I answered "Moussaka", the look on his face was priceless.  He had no idea whatsoever what I was talking about. Even though every single restaurant in Greece has Moussaka, he didn't have any the week he was there.  Usually we opted for the fresh seafood and that was fine by me too.

Moussaka is kind of a labor of love.  The prep is a little long and the cooking time is a little intense, but the dish itself is pretty easy to make.  It's made in 4 different layers and cooked after each one. 

Moussaka


Ingredients:
For the potato layer (the bottom layer)

4 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick
1 medium red onion, slice thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshy ground pepper

For the eggplant layer (the second layer)

2 small or 1 large eggplant, cut into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teapoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano. minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the zucchini layer (the third layer)

2 medium or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the meat sauce (the fourth layer)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1-15 oz. can chopped tomatoes

For the bechamel sauce (also the fourth layer)

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup greshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a colander, combine the eggplant and the 1/2 teaspoon salt and allow to drain for 1 hour.

For the first layer:  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Spread evenly in a large baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.

For the second layer:  Combine the eggplant and the next 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Spread evenly on top of the potato layer.  Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

For the third layer:  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Spread evenly on top of the eggplant layer.  Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

For the meat sauce: (the first part of the fourth layer) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the meat and cook until browned. Add the oregano, allspice, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and combine.  Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce.  Mix well and cook on low until all of the liquid from the tomatoes is absorbed. 

For the bechamel sauce:  (the second part of the fourth layer) In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.  Once the butter is completely melted add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Add the milk and whisk until smooth.  Increase the heat to medium-low and add the pepper and nutmeg.  Mix well,  Add the egg yolks and cheese.  Mix well.  Remove from heat and add about 1/4 of the mixure to the meat sauce.

Add the meat sauce/bechamel sauce on top of the zucchini layer. Spread evenly with a spoon.  Add the remainder of the bechamel sauce on top of the meat layer and spread evenly with a spoon.  Place back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.



Enjoy!!

XO,

Sabrina

Post a Comment

Please comment with name/url setting due to problems commenting and replying with google accounts. Thanks!!