I have fond memories of my dad and I cooking together every time we visited each other. He was a chef by profession, serving elite groups and individuals such as George W. Bush, the Miami Dolphins and Weird Al Yankovich to name a few. One of my favorite dishes to prepare with him was Eggplant Moussaka, and my family still to this day makes requests for it several times a year.
The recipe that I make is, as always, open to the ingredients I have on hand. As it takes me 30 miles to go to the store and home for a purchase, I have become a master with substitutions. So please take the options at face value, I have prepared this dish with all of the several options I present and it still creates a wonderful end result.
Moussaka is a Grecian Casserole layered similarly to lasagna. This dish takes time, the quickest I have made it was in just under 2 hours. The time is well worth it because it creates 2-3 meals for my crew of 7 people. It is nutritious and filling, absolutely delightful served with a salad.
Egg Plant Moussaka
4-5 potatoes cubed
1 cup of chicken stock
Place in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and place in oven at 350 degrees. As the potatoes are baking, work on layer 2.
1.5 lbs of ground meat- this can be lamb, turkey, beef, sausage, venison, or vegan burger (they all work for this recipe!)
12 oz tomato sauce
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
2 T lemon juice
Brown meat (or meat substitute) in a skillet, drain fat and mix garlic, tomato sauce and lemon juice. Spread mixture over the potatoes evenly and place back into the oven.
Layers 3 and 4
12 oz of goat cheese crumbles, or feta (optional)
1 eggplant sliced
3 eggs ( I have have used milk, and milk and yogurt mixed instead of egg)
1c bread crumbs
4-6 T oil or butter
In this order, coat the eggplant slices with flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Heat oil in a skillet and, over medium heat, saute the breaded eggplant until lightly browned. When all of the eggplant is browned pull the casserole from the oven. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the meat mixture, then layer the browned eggplant on top, slightly overlapping the edges of the eggplant. Place back in oven and work on the sauce.
1/2 c flour
6 T butter
2 c of milk (cow, goat, soy or almond)
salt and pepper to taste
Place the flour in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring moderately. Add the butter and continue stirring until the butter is completely melted and mixed with the flour. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly until all of the milk is combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the top of your casserole and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes, cut and serve.