I got two beautiful white eggplant in my local box from Greenling, and I had some potatoes that were on sale at Randall's. I had planned to make potato and eggplant curry, but at some point today I changed my mind in favor of moussaka. I guess I wanted to use up some of the grass-fed beef I have in the freezer. I've eaten moussaka before, but I'd never made it, so I actually used a recipe. Mostly. The recipe calls for two large onions, and after I chopped one, it looked like a lot of onion, so I skipped the second. Also, the recipe doesn't give an amount for bread crumbs. I used 2 cups of panko. And of course I only used two eggplants, although the recipe calls for three. Also, I don't think the original instructions are very clear about the order in which to do things, so I hope I've clarified that a bit.
Heat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
2 Medium sized eggplants, unpeeled (500g)
4-5 Medium sized potatoes, peeled (800g)
1 large onion - chopped fine (350g)
1 6oz Can Tomato paste
1/4 Cup Red wine
1 Cup Parmesan cheese - freshly grated
1 lb. Ground beef
3 T Fresh parsley - chopped fine
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
2 cups panko
White Sauce (recipe below)
Rinse eggplant under cool water. Pat dry with paper towel. Cut off ends. Slice about 1/2 inch thick rounds.
Lightly sprinkle slices with salt and let sit while you slice potatoes.
Peel and slice potatoes very thin. Place in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
Fry eggplant QUICKLY in butter or cooking oil until golden brown. You want the eggplant to remain firm. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
Dilute tomato paste with about 1/2 cup water and the 1/4 cup red wine. Add parsley and cinnamon, stir until smooth.
Add tomato paste mixture to pan with meat and onions, simmer for about 10 minutes. Prepare white sauce while meat mixture simmers.
Hot milk (not boiled)
Egg yolks, well beaten
Dash of Nutmeg
In medium size bowl, beat the egg yolks with your whisk; set aside.
In medium size sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 Tablespoons butter and blend in the flour, stirring steadily until butter is absorbed into the flour. Add salt.
When bubbling slightly, REDUCE heat to LOW; add the hot milk SLOWLY, stirring constantly. Continue cooking over low heat until smooth and thickened to medium consistency.
Remove from heat and add nutmeg.
Pour finished sauce over the beaten egg yolks SLOWLY and stir constantly. Set aside.
Sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on bottom of roasting pan. Beginning with eggplant, begin layering: eggplant, potatoes, meat. Each layer should be sprinkled lightly with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Your TOP layer should be eggplant. Pour white sauce evenly over the top. The sauce will form a thick crust on top of the Moussaka when baked. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs.
BAKE at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let stand about 15 minutes before cutting into 8 squares. Serve with the red wine you opened to make the meat sauce. ;)