yumyumyummers

moussaka

In baking, culinary experiments, dinner, ethnic food on 10.08.11 at 9:29 pm

i’m a big fan of greek food. and moussaka is definitely one of my all-time fave dishes. when i’m too lazy to cook or craving comfort food, i order greek takeout from one of my fave restos in the neighbourhood. my fave dish on the menu? moussaka!

so i thought it was about time that i learn how to cook this hearty greek dish at home. perfect dinner party fare that paired nicely with ouzo prawns & fennel arugula salad (check out my recent post for the recipe). with a little inspiration from clean eating magazine, i embarked on my own greek culinary experiment. here’s how i made my (somewhat unconventional) moussaka…

– preheat oven to 425F

the potatoes:
– bring water to boil in a large pot
– place 4 large white potatoes (peeled, whole) in boiling water
– reduce heat & simmer potatoes in water for approx 15min
– remove from heat, drain potatoes & set aside

the eggplant:
– line a medium-sized baking pan w/ cooking parchment paper
– place  2 baby eggplants (stems removed, sliced) in baking pan
– lightly brush eggplant slices w/ extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
– add a dash of sea salt
– roast eggplant in oven for approx 8min at 425F
– remove eggplant from oven & set aside on plate to cool

the meat:
– heat up 1.5 tbsp evoo in a large saucepan on high heat
– brown 1/2 white onion (peeled, diced) in pan
– add 2 cloves garlic (minced) to pan
add 500g free-range extra lean ground beef to pan
– add a dash of sea salt
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– sprinkle 1 tsp herbes de provence
– divide & fold the beef into pieces as it cooks for approx 4-5min until no longer pink
– add 1 large can of diced tomatoes to pan
– add 1 cup water evenly over beef & tomatoes
– sprinkle 1 tsp herbes de provence
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– fold ingredients together until well combined
– reduce heat to medium and simmer (covered) for approx 15-18min until cooked

while meat & tomatoes are simmering, start preparing the low-fat bechemel sauce.


 

the bechamel sauce:
blend together the following ingredients until slightly thick & smooth:
– 1/2 cup low-fat plain greek yogurt
– 1 cup low-fat sour cream
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 2 medium eggs

the casserole:
– using a pastry brush, prep a medium oven-safe baking dish w/ evoo
– add layer of 2/3 of crumbled potatoes to form the base of the moussaka
– add layer of eggplant slices, then add the beef & tomato mixture
– add another layer of the remaining 1/3 of crumbled potatoes and then the remaining eggplant slices
– distribute the bechamel sauce evenly over eggplant & potatoes
– sprinkle w/ pecorino romano cheese (grated)

(tip: place baking dish on a baking sheet for easy cleanup, just in case there is any spillage during the baking process.)

– bake casserole (covered) for approx 30min at 425F, until set & lightly toasted brown
– if not toasted brown, remove cover & bake for another 5min
– remove from oven & allow to cool on rack

(tip: i took a shortcut here and didn’t slice & roast the potatoes after boiling them. that is probably why the moussaka didn’t slice into neatly-cut pieces when serving it. i think i’ll try roasting the potatoes next time.)

food styling:
– dish up a generous slice of moussaka in a serving bowl
– season w/ ground black peppercorns to taste
– pairs nicely w/ your fave cabernet sauvignon

adapted from clean eating magazine

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  1. I’ve never seen a bechamel made with those ingredients before. Was it tasty? :)

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    • definitely an unconventional bechamel without the butter or the flour. i added in some greek yogurt on a whim to thicken it up a bit. the bechamel still turned out fluffy and we all went back for a second helping of moussaka. ;)

      Like

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