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Eggplant Wrapped Moussaka
6 to 8 portions

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup milk
1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds (with skins)
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 cup canned beef broth or homemade beef stock
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried currants
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 acorn squash (about 1 pound) halved, seeded, and cooked until soft

1/2 cup cooked white rice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups minted yogurt sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets
and a 10-inch round, 2-inch deep casserole (preferably glass).

Combine the cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne in a
small bowl. Mix well. Pour the milk into another shallow bowl.

Dip each eggplant slice first in the milk, letting any excess drip
off, and then in the flour mixture, pressing lightly so it is evenly
coated. Shake off any excess flour, and arrange the slices in a
single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until soft, 30
minutes (there may still be traces of flour on the eggplant).
Remove the eggplant but leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onion and
almonds, and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and the
almonds are toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lamb, raise the heat
slightly, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until browned,
about 10 minutes. Add the lamb, raise the heat slightly, and cook,
stirring and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 10 minutes.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet.

Stir the remaining spice mixture into the meat, and cook 1 minute.
Then stir in the tomatoes, stock, apricots, currants, and mint.
Scoop the squash into the mixture in chunks. Stir in the rice,
lemon juice, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the skillet
from the heat.

Arrange a layer of cooked eggplant on the bottom and up the sides
of the prepared casserole. Fill with the lamb mixture, and top
with the remaining eggplant. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1
hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to stand, still
covered, for 15 minutes. Then uncover, and invert the moussaka
onto a serving platter. Cut it into wedges, and serve with the
Minted Yogurt Sauce.


Minted Yogurt Sauce
Yield: 1-1/2 cups

1 1/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate,
covered, until ready.

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Taste: Ease of Prep: Appearance:
really interesting variant... highly recommended, May 14, 2006 - 11:48 PM
Reviewer: Matilda from Australia
This moussaka tasted fantastic! - it was a bit time conuming - but most good moussakas are... Beautiful mix of flavours with a subtle balance and sweet and savoury. Recipe was fairly easy to follow once i had worked out what order to do everything in - certainly not one to do in a hurry first time around! Not sure the cooked rice added much? might use extra chopped eggplant net time around but the almonds were a great texture addition! Well balanced spices - went superbly with a glass of red wine! I served it with a side of salsa made with small diced tomato, celery, red onion, parsley, mint and corriander with macadamia oil and salt which gave refreshing contrast to the meaty moussaka flavours.

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