I love Greek food and I don’t get the opportunity to eat it very often so I decided tonight to make Moussaka. It is a delicious eggplant dish with potatoes in a ground beef tomato sauce. I found this fantastic recipe from Food.com and loved the results. I love finding ways to incorporate vegetables in my diet because let’s face it, eating them along side a dish can get boring. Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies along with Spinach so this is yet again another recipe keeper although I might be trying Cooking Light’s take on it next time 😉
Quick Note: I made one adjustment I used Mushrooms in replacement of Olives in this dish
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs ground beef or 2 lbs ground lamb
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chopped ripe olives, preferably kalamata (optional)
- 15 ounces seasoned tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot milk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup grated kefalograviera cheese (use Parmesan if unavailable)
Eggplant and Potatoes
- 2 lbs eggplants
- olive oil, to brush on
- 2 -3 potatoes (cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds or long slices, enough to cover bottom of baking pan in 1 layer)
1In large, heavy saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil; saute finely ground meat, onion and garlic until lightly browned; add oregano, basil, cinnamon, salt, ripe olives (if using) and tomato sauce; Cover and simmer slowly about 30 minutes; uncover and simmer slowly another 30 minutes.
2While sauce simmers, prepare Bechamel Sauce (recipe below) and eggplant; cut ends from eggplant (1 large or 2 small) and cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices (if using large, flask-type eggplant, peel the skin off in strips with a vegetable peeler – creating a striped look – with some of the peel left on and some off. If using Japanese-style (the longish, purply-white ones), don’t bother to peel at all); Place on a cookie sheet and brush with remaining olive oil; Place under broiler and broil until light brown; Remove from oven, salt lightly, turn eggplant and repeat process; Then position rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees.
3There are three ways you can prepare the potatoes for this delicious casserole: 1) shallow-fry potato rounds in olive oil until golden-brown or, 2) for fewer calories, arrange the potato slices in your baking pan, brush lightly with olive oil, bake for 15 minutes, continue with assembly, or 3) if you want to cut calories further, parboil them for 8 minutes; drain well on paper towels.
4To assemble: In 13x9x2-inch baking dish, arrange layer of potatoes, overlapping slightly, season lightly (there will be only one layer of potatoes, so use them all up); next, do a layer of eggplant; sprinkle some Parmesan, kaseri (or cheddar) and bread crumbs over eggplant; layer meat sauce, freshly grated cheeses, crumbs and Bechamel Sauce until all is used; bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until flecked golden-brown on top.
5To make Bechamel Sauce: In saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; whisk in flour and cook slowly until smooth and lightly cooked (2-3 minutes); add salt and remove from heat; add milk, whisking rapidly and return to heat; cook until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly; allow to cool 5 minutes, whisking once in a while to prevent a skin from forming; incorporate eggs and grated cheese with wire whisk to make fluffy sauce.
6Freezer Notes: Once the baked moussaka has completely cooked, cut serving-size pieces, double-wrap in foil and freeze. Defrost in the usual manner and reheat in microwave (or oven) for a delicious, quick meal, when there’s little time to cook and dinner is ready and waiting in the freezer!
Nutritional Facts for Moussaka
Serving Size: 1 (402 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
- Calories 628.4
- Calories from Fat 339 54%
- Total Fat 37.7 g 58%
- Saturated Fat 15.4 g 77%
- Cholesterol 158.5 mg 52%
- Sodium 1279.6 mg 53%
- Total Carbohydrate 38.0 g 12%
- Dietary Fiber 7.5 g 30%
- Sugars 8.0 g 32%
- Protein 35.2 g 70%