|I accidentally Broiled it for a couple minutes too long|
For the month of May, my Wednesday night life group's potluck, which is today, is Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food. I volunteered to make a moussaka. It's been a long time since I made one and I forgot how much work this was.
Pictures to follow later this week. If I had this recipe to do over again, I would not do sliced eggplant, rather I would cube them and saute them with a lot of sea salt & EVOO. This gets them tender much faster and I find this tastier. And, I would just have basically 2 layers of diced eggplant (top and bottom). The middle layer, I would probably use cheese. I did cook the eggplant slices on a higher temp and for longer than what Titli's recipe calls for, but the eggplant wasn't super tender as it was supposed to be. It was chewier than I would've liked.
Serves 12-16 hearty servings
Ingredients for Meat Sauce:
|This is most of the ingredients in the sauce, but I think I'm missing a couple items|
|Fresh Parsley - was debating to get this or Italian Parsley|
|This food processor is pretty old, but does a great job. Still needed a little more processing|
|I used way more garlic than the original recipe, but love garlic|
|The processor was already out, so why not mince the garlic in it, too.|
|I did use 4 tomatoes, but I actually made 2 casserole dishes (1 - 9x13 and the other 9x9)|
|4 tomatoes chopped up|
- extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 lbs ground beef (or ground lamb)
- 1 tspn ground cinnamon
- 1 tspn ground allspice
- sea salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup red wine (or unsweetened grape juice)
- 1 tspn honey
- 3 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon oregano, dried
- 5 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 4 oz tomato paste
Ingredients for Topping Sauce:
|I forgot to put the butter, coconut milk, salt, and enough eggs here|
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- pinch nutmeg
- sea salt
- 2 large eggplants sliced into 1/4" slices
- sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions (This is the recipe as I made on 5/30/12):
- To prepare Eggplant Slices
- Place 1 layer of eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt.
- Add another layer of eggplant slices of that, sprinkle with salt and repeat until all the slices are gone.
- Let eggplant slices sit for 20-30 min.
|Salted eggplants in large colander|
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Grease pans with EVOO.
|My 8-yr old greasing the baking sheets|
- Begin preparing Meat Sauce.
- Heat EVOO in a large pan/skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add onions and stew them for about 10-15 min. until they become soft.
- Add in meat, cinnamon, allspice, salt & pepper. Turn up heat to high to brown meat.
|Beef, spices added to the stewed onions|
- Okay, back to eggplant slices.
- Remove slices from colander and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
|My 11-yr old patting dry all the eggplant slices (the salt draws out the moisture in the eggplant.|
- Place eggplant slices on oiled pans and brush the top with EVOO.
|My 8-yr old's job to brush all the slices with EVOO|
- Bake in oven at 350° F for 20-30 min. They should be slightly golden brown & all parts of the eggplant slices should be tender. Check after 20 min. to see if the thickest eggplant slices are tender or not. If they are not, keep baking. You want your eggplant really tender in the moussaka and not chewy.
|Waiting to be used in the moussaka layering process|
- Back to Meat Sauce.
- Add wine. Cook on medium-low heat for 5 min.
- Take eggplant slices out of oven and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300° F.
- Add honey, tomatoes and keep on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, broth, oregano, parsley, tomato paste. Mix well. Cover & cook on medium low heat for 30 min. to allow sauce to thicken and for the flavors to infuse.
|Just added the additional stuff|
|Mixed, sort of|
- Now you'll make the topping sauce.
- Heat the coconut milk, heavy cream, butter, and flour on medium high. Continually whisk this, so as to not allow the coconut flour to clump or the mixture to burn.
|My 11-yr old cutting the butter to go into the sauce|
- Bring to boil, then turn heat down to medium low to simmer for 2-3 min.
- Remove from heat.
- Add nutmeg, salt, and cheese. Mix well and allow to cool for 5 min.
|See the color difference? It's now a lighter yellow due to the cheese|
- Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.
- Back to meat sauce.
- After the 30 min. of simmering are done, add in the egg whites. Mix well and turn off heat.
|It's a bit too liquidy still.|
- To prepare moussaka.
- Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with olive oil.
- Place a layer of eggplant slices at the bottom.
- Use a slotted spoon to spoon the meat mixture over the eggplant slices. You do not want to put the liquid in, as it will make this dish too soggy.
- Top with another layer of eggplant. Repeat. You'll end up with 2 layers of meat sauce and 3 layers of eggplant, with the last layer being an eggplant layer.
- Pour Topping Sauce over final layer of eggplant slices.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 25 min. at 300° F. Take out and allow oven to heat up.
- Turn oven to BROIL (450° F). Place moussaka back into oven for 5 min, until top is slightly browned.