OPA!

I love Greece. I went there a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with the country. The people, the gorgeous islands, the beaches, the white-washed buildings…and the food. OH the food…

Santorini Island

One of my absolute favourite things in the world is Moussaka. It’s like a Greek sheppard’s pie, layers of eggplant, ground lamb/beef, a beschamel sauce, and lots of cheese. Mmmmmm…
Trouble is that it takes about 3 hours to make. So the labour-intensivity dictates a limitation to how many times I can have moussaka a year. Well, that and my desire to still fit in my clothes. It’s quite the heavy dish. But hey! It has…dairy…and protein…and vegetables…/cough

My friend Paul is going to med school in London, Ontario and only comes home for the summer. That seemed like a perfect excuse for a celebration and some moussaka!

Moussaka1
Moussaka
(Makes one 9×12 inch pan, and an 8×8 square pan worth)

2 eggplants
salt

Meat sauce layer

  • 2 lbs ground lamb or beef (we used 50/50 split)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Bechamel sauce

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb monterey jack cheese, grated
  • Cut eggplant into 1 cm slices, sprinkle with salt and set aside on paper towel.

    To prepare meat sauce, saute ground meat in butter with salt and pepper, onions, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, parsley, and tomato sauce. Add wine and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    To make bechamel sauce, melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually add milk and cream, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add egg yolks in a slow stream, away from heat and stirring constantly. Return to heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

    Wipe eggplant dry and brown in olive oil. (This actually takes pretty long, so if you have a few extra hands, I’d reccommend someone do this while the other person makes the bechamel sauce). Set on paper towel to drain. In greased pan, place a layer of eggplant, then cover with meat sauce, sprinkle with cheese, cover with remaining eggplant, sprinkle with more cheese, then cover with bechamel sauce and cover with remaining cheese. Do the same in both pans.

    Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Serves 6-8. Deliciousness, especially with our greek salad!
    Moussaka

    We topped it all off with puff pastry desserts, from the Dorie Greenspan’s Parisian Apple Tartlet recipe. I used peaches and raspberries instead!

    pre-pastry
    post-pastry

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