Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole)

16 Jan

Moussaka is a dish that I have never helped make nor have I made it myself.  It’s been on my list of recipes to try for a while, and I knew it was close to Pastitsio, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.  When I got eggplant in my Italian themed veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets, I decided it was time to give it a try.  Normally, you would need more than one eggplant, but I decided to make it as an eggplant and zucchini casserole since zucchini was on sale at the grocery store this week.  I also wanted to use the mushrooms I got in my basket, so I incorporated them into the meat sauce.  It turned out amazing, I’m very happy with the results!  It’s somewhat lighter than Pastitsio, because it’s vegetables instead of pasta.  Next time, I think I may come up with a mix of the eggplant, zucchini, and noodles.

If you would like to make this meatless, substitute another package of mushrooms, diced, or some diced zucchini and/or eggplant for the 1 lb of ground beef or lamb.

Moussaka

What you need:

Filling:
1 eggplant, cut lengthwise, 1/2 in  width
3 zucchini, cut lengthwise , 1/2 in width
Salt
Olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 lb ground beef or lamb (for meatless, use more mushrooms, or diced zucchini or eggplant)
1 8 oz package whole mushrooms, diced
1 medium onion
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Grated Kefalotiri, Parmesan, or Romano cheese

Cream sauce (krema):
2-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set on paper towels for 15-20 minutes to let them drain.  Pat tops with a paper towel.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown eggplant and zucchini slices.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown onion and ground beef or lamb.  Add mushrooms, tomato paste, and seasonings.  Cook for 5 – 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make cream sauce. Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour in 1/4 cup flour; brown slowly. Beat 2 eggs with 2-1/2 cups milk, salt, and pepper, and pour into butter and flour mixture very slowly; mix well. Cook over low heat until it thickens.

To assemble, grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle bread crumbs to cover the bottom of the pan.  Lay out eggplant in a single layer.  Spread half of the meat sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Lay out zucchini in a single layer.  Spread the remaining meat sauce over the zucchini.  Pour cream sauce evenly on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Freezes best unbaked, thawed for 1/2 hour, then baked as above.

2 Responses to “Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole)”

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  1. Moussaka and Pastitsio all in one! « My Gems of Parenting - February 23, 2012

    […] not feeling too creative at the moment.  This is a combination of 2 of my favorite Greek dishes, Moussaka and Pastitsio.  I got the Italian themed veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets this week, and it had […]

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  2. Eggplant Lasagna | My Gems of Parenting - January 25, 2014

    […] eggplant at a recent Market on the Move event, I decided it was time to try it.  Now, I have made Moussaka, so I know how to prepare the eggplant.  Then, I decided to take my favorite Lasagna recipe from […]

    Like

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