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Greek Moussaka

In the process of cleaning out our freezer and realized I had 500 gm of ground lamb. What to do? I have always liked moussaka in a Greek restaurant, but never made it at home. Good old Pinterest to the rescue, for what appeared to be an easy recipe and without the potatoes on top….less calories. The recipe looks complicated, but I decided to prepare the ground lamb ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to make the complete dish. It gave me time to prepare the eggplant while I was cleaning up from the lamb prep. The dish turned out perfectly, with our guests taking home this recipe! The photo below is from the Pinterest pinner…we got so carried away enjoying the dish that I forgot a photo. Check out Sniff It Out on Pinterest for more tantalizing recipes!

Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

About 500g of lean minced (ground) lamb
2 Aubergines (Eggplants) medium to large in size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
3 fl oz. (75 ml) red wine or more
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the yogurt topping for the Greek Moussaka – I used a large CorningWare casserole dish and ended up doubling the yogurt in order to cover the top.

150ml Greek yogurt (double if necessary)

1 medium egg, beaten

50g feta cheese or more

25g freshly grated parmesan or more

 

  1. Preparing the Aubergines

Leave the skins on and slice the Aubergines into approximately 10mm thick slices.

Put the slices into a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 level dessertspoon of salt. Stand the colander on a plate to catch the water which comes out of the Aubergines and put another plate on top of the aubergine slices.

You now need to weigh this plate down with something heavy (I find that a couple of tins of soup works quite well) and leave them for about an hour to let the juice come out.

After an hour, squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines and dry them well in a clean cloth.

Spread the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them tossing them around to get a good coating.

Put the baking sheet in a pre heated oven (around 200 degrees) and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are browning at the edges.

I usually roast the eggplant simply because the baking tray is much bigger than the frying pan and I can get the slices done all in one go, but, if you would rather sauté the eggplant to use in the moussaka you can do that too.

 

  1. Preparing the lamb for the Moussaka recipe (I did this step first)

    Because the mince can have quite a lot of fat come out of it I usually dry fry the mince until it is nicely browned then remove it from the pan and put it to one side then discard any of the fat which has come out of it before using it to make the moussaka.

Then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and thyme gently, without colouring, for about 10 minutes.

Stir the minced lamb back in and add the parsley, cinnamon, tomato purée and red wine and stir to combine the ingredients. Season the mixture well and cook gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  1. Prepare the topping for the Greek Moussaka recipe

    It’s true that Moussaka isn’t the most healthy dish on the planet, that’s why I prefer a yogurt topping for my moussaka recipe because it is a bit lighter than others I have tried but that is purely my preference. Mix the yogurt with half of the cheeses and the beaten egg and season with ground pepper.

 

  1. Putting everything together for the Greek Moussaka!

    Line the bottom of a casserole dish with slices of aubergine, then spoon over some of the meat mixture. Build the layers of the moussaka up until all the meat and aubergine has been used.

Cover with the topping mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC / 350ºF for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling.

Let the Moussaka stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and serving and this will ensure that it keeps its shape when you serve it.

 

 

 

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Eggplant Parmesan

Tired of turkey yet?

One day I am going to do a cookbook for Costco…LOL. This time we bought a bag of 10 little eggplants there but it was my intent to either grill them or make eggplant Parmesan. I chose the latter. This is a perfect dish for your vegan friends as long as they still do cheeses.

Pinterest to the rescue again. Thanks to Like Mother Like Daughter for this recipe with some changes.

Eggplant Parmesan (LMLDFood@gmail.com)
Ingredients
• 1-2 large eggplant or 5 small ones
• 2-3 eggs, whipped
• ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
• ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese
• ½ TBS oregano
• ½ TBS basil
• 3-4 cups tomato sauce (or 1 can of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup salsa)
• 4-8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used all Parmesan)
• 8-16 oz. cooked pasta noodles optional
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Peel eggplant skin off. Cut into slices, about ½ inch thick.
3. Dip eggplant slices into egg and then breadcrumbs. Cover evenly.
4. Place on a sprayed baking sheet in one layer.
5. Cook for 8-10 minutes and then flip. Cook 8-10 minutes on second side.
6. Pour about half of your sauce into a baking pan.
7. Lay eggplant in sauce. Top with cheese. Cover with additional sauce. (Do 2 layers of egg plant if necessary)
8. Cover with foil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
9. Remove foil and cook for another 5 minutes.
10. Serve eggplant on top of prepared pasta.
11. Top with additional Parmesan or mozzarella cheese if desired.

We were thinking if you skipped the pasta, you could easily serve this with some nice pork chops for your carnivore friends!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! PROSPERO ANO NUEVO!

 

 

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Eggplant with Chorizo (Sausage)

Sunday at noon we usually head off to the symphony. Before we go I like to get a head start on dinner! Et voila…slow cooker….. This recipe was served by our friend, Kitti, and with or without the chorizo it was great. Serve with your preference of rice or maybe with quinoa. I think it wold also make an awesome spaghetti sauce!

SLOW COOKER EGGPLANT WITH CHORIZO AND TOMATOES

  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 eggplant sliced
  • 3  carrots  chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can of tomato sauce6 to 8 cut up Roma tomatoes
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • browned chorizo or sausage pieces (omit if you want a vegan dish)
  • fresh baby arugula ( a handful)

Brown the chorizo in olive oil . Remove and place on a paper towel.

Add onion, garlic, and eggplant to frypan. Cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

Stir in the tomatoes, sauce and paste. Cook 5 minutes more.

Add seasonings: cumin- salt-pepper- OPTIONAL cayenne pepper.

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring well. Top with a handful of the arugula.

Cover and cook on high for two hours or less.

 Just before serving add more arugula to the individual dishes.

Ratatouille on the Run

Ah, too many vegetables and not enough time to eat them all before we go on a little vacation. Eh voila! Epicurious to the rescue…ok…if you skip the cheese it would be great alone…. I served this with a nice rack of lamb….

Ratatouille on the Run (Epicurious.Com)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant (unpeeled), diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cactus pads diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese or Muenster cheese or a mixture of the two, diced (optional)

Preparation

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add eggplant, green bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, zucchini and basil. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Uncover pot and simmer until juice thickens, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper.(Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread ratatouille in 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. ( I added the cheese just before serving). Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ratatouille-on-the-Run-517#ixzz29wkHJuwF