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LOCATION: Recipes >> Greek >> Moussaka 06

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Moussaka
Yield: 6 servings

2 1/2 medium eggplants, about 3 pounds total
2 tablespoons olive oil, heated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium firm-but-ripe tomatoes, juiced, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds ground lean lamb
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat broiler. Peel the eggplants and cut them into 1/3-inch thick
lengthwise slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking
sheets. Lightly brush with hot oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Broil, about 6 inches from heat source, until browned, about 4 1/2
minutes. Turn slices. Brush with hot oil and season lightly. Broil
until browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to
handle.

Meanwhile, for lamb mixture, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in
12-inch, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add
garlic, onion, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Cook,
uncovered, until mixture has cooked down and is thick, about 10
minutes. Turn up heat to evaporate any remaining liquid.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch, non-stick skillet. When
hot, add lamb, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, until cooked
through and brown, about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid
that may accumulate in pan. Add drained lamb to tomato mixture.
Adjust seasoning. It should taste well-seasoned because eggplant
is mild-tasting.

To assemble, have ready a shallow, 8-cup capacity baking dish.
Arrange eggplant slices in attractive, overlapping spokes, meeting
at the center, extending beyond the edge of baking dish. Fill in
any spaces with pieces of eggplant so that base is solid. Once
moussaka is inverted, this will be the top surface. Add tomato-lamb
mixture. Use rubber spatula to smooth out and gently compact. Fold
any extending pieces of eggplant back onto meat mixture. Cover with
foil. Can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated. Bring
to room temperature before baking.

When ready to bake moussaka, put rack in center of oven; heat oven
to 400 degrees. Bake, uncovered, until very hot and lightly browned,
about 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes on cooling rack. Drain off
any acumulated juices. Place a heated serving platter over dish;
gently invert and unmold moussaka. Use a serrated knife to cut
moussaka into serving portions and a metal spatula to transfer them
to dinner plate. Serve hot or warm.

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