Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Greek National Dish..

Moussaka (Lamb-Eggplant Casserole)

This is a real Greek recipe
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds lamb (beef or half and half can be substituted)
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine, optional
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups ricotta or farmers cheese
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Peel eggplants and slice about ½" thick, brown quickly in the oil
  2. Add 4 Tb butter and sauté the onions until golden in the same skillet
  3. Combine tomato paste with the wine, parley, cinnamon, salt and pepper
  4. Stir this mixture into the meat and simmer over low heat stirring frequently until all liquid is absorbed.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 375º
  7. Make a white sauce by melting 8 Tbsp. butter and blending in the flour, stirring with a wire whisk.
  8. Bring the milk to a boil and add it gradually to the butter-flour mix, stirring constantly, when thick and smooth set aside and cool slightly.
  9. Stir in beaten eggs, nutmeg and ricotta
  10. Grease a 11x16 casserole or round dish and sprinkle with crumbs
  11. Arrange in layers eggplant and meat sauce, sprinkle layers with Parmesan and bread crumsbs, pour the ricotta cheese sauce over the top and bake 1 hour until golden on top.

If you let it stand over night, the flavor improves when reheated.
Serve with crusty bread and the same wine you used in the dish.
This sounds a bit difficult, but is actually not so, and in any case worth the effort.

As promised..

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