Thursday, March 8, 2012


Since the last post was of Greek food and the trip we took there this past summer was SO memorable to me, I thought I would post another recipe from Greek night at our house.  My sister-in-law, Deb, was enraptured by this mainstay of the islands.  She did have it for dinner most nights while we were there.  One might say she was obsessed!  Sorry Deb, had to spill the beans. 
I combined two recipes for this dish.  Both of which were taken from Paragon Publishing's book, Perfect Greek.  While my original thought was making purely the vegetarian version from the book, I also had a craving for meat that day.  The outcome was purely heaven.  A rich and satisfying feeling came from the wonderful eggplant and perfectly creamy lentils. 

Please remember that the spices and their amounts are purely a starting point and the dish should be adjusted to suit your personal tastes.  Really, that is what cooking is all about anyway.  Right?
2-3 eggplant; thinly sliced lengthwise (depending on size - I used 3 medium sized)
1 pound ground beef or lamb
2 onions; thinly sliced
3 stalks celery; chopped
1 teaspoon garlic; finely chopped
1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 10 ounces cooked lentils
2 tablespoons fresh parsley; chopped
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.  Dry-fry the eggplant slices, in batches, in a nonstick skillet on both sides until browned.  Remove from skillet.

2.  Add the beef or lamb to the skillet and cook on medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes until browned.  Stir in onions, celery, and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and celery is almost cooked through.

3.  Add the tomatoes, lentils, parsley, salt, pepper and cinnamon.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes longer until slightly thickened.  Adjust spices to your liking.

4.  Make the sauce below.

2 eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
salt and white pepper
a pinch of finely grated nutmeg
2 ounces Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

1.  Combine all ingredients.

Assembling the Moussaka

1.  Place first layer of eggplant in 13x9-inch baking dish.  Slices should touch each other.

2.  Spread a layer of meat and lentil mixture over top of eggplant.

3.  Repeat layers and end with an eggplant layer.

4.  Slowly pour the sauce mixture over the top of the entire baking dish.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden and bubbling on top.