A reader asked for my Moussaka recipe so I dug it out and realized I haven't made it in years.
* 1.5 lbs. ground lamb(can use beef or a combo of the two)
* 3 medium eggplants
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 2 onions, sliced thin
* 1 clove garlic, crushed(I used minced)
* 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
* 1 cup of tomato puree
* 1 teaspoon basil, chopped or dried
* 1/2 teaspoon all spice
* 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped or dried
* 3 Tablespoons butter
* 3 cups milk
* 3 Tablespoons flour
* 3 eggs-room temperature
* Pinch of nutmeg
* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
* salt and pepper to taste
Cut eggplants into thin slices, sprinkle them with salt to remove that bitter taste and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse slices and pat dry. Then brush slices with oil and put on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Turn slices, oil tops and bake another 10-15 minutes. Saute onion in small amount of leftover olive oil until soft. Then add lamb(or beef)and brown until cooked through.
Add garlic, tomatoes, puree, allspice, basil and parsley. Stir and simmer 15 minutes until thickened.
In a casserole pan alternate layers of eggplant and meat mixture, ending with a layer of eggplant on top.
For the Bechamel sauce--Melt butter, stir in flour until "cooked" then add the milk off the heat. Bring this mixture to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in eggs.(Temper your eggs by adding some of the milk mixture to your beaten eggs, while whisking the whole time, then slowly whisking all your eggs into your milk mixture. Season to taste(nutmeg, salt, pepper). Pour sauce over moussaka then top with cheese.
Bake at 350F for 1 hour or until browned on top. Cool before dishing out so it holds together.
Since tomatoes aren't in season you can substitute canned crushed tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes.
Making Moussaka is a production, much like making a Lasagna or Eggplant Parm but it freezes well so you can keep half for another meal at another time.
Now that I've typed all this out I want some Moussaka! lol