The Recipes

Moussaka Stacks

Moussaka is traditionally made with eggplant and some kind of ground meat, and there are a lot of variations depending on what country it is made in.  Most people in the U.S. are familiar with the Greek version, which is made of eggplant, ground lamb, and a layer of Beschamel, or white cream, sauce.  Given that I'm going to be in a bathing suit at the end of this month, I decided to go with a version without all of that cream and butter.

This is definitely enough for more than one portion.  I made enough of the lamb ragout to go with the entire eggplant, but you could easily only use part of the eggplant and either make less sauce, or freeze it.  I just decided to make enough to eat for lunch a few days this week.

Moussaka Stacks


Ingredients:

- 1 small eggplant
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. bread crumbs
- 1 T. dried parsley
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1/2 14.5-oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick
- handful of mint, chopped
- handful of parsley, chopped
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Slice the eggplant and lay the pieces on a paper towel.  Season the slices with salt and let them sit for at least 30 minutes to pull some of the moisture out of the eggplant.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Set up a breading station, with flour in a shallow bowl or plate in the first, the egg in the second, and a combination of the bread crumbs, dried parsley, and salt in the third.  Dip each piece of eggplant in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally coating with the bread crumbs.  Place the slices on a wire rack positioned on top of a cookie sheet.  Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

While the eggplant cooks, heat 1 T. of olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add the lamb and let it brown.  Once it is brown, break up any chunks and add in the onion and pepper.  Season with salt and pepper and let it cook for 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook a minute longer.  Next, add the tomato paste and red pepper and stir to combine.  Add in the cinnamon stick and tomato sauce and season with salt again.  Remember, keep tasting as you go along.  Let the sauce simmer while the eggplant cooks.  Stir in the fresh herbs as the eggplant comes out of the oven.

Remove the eggplant from the oven. Lay half of the eggplant slices in a layer of eggplant in the bottom of a small casserole dish.  Top each piece with a scoop of the lamb ragout.  Top each stack with another slice of eggplant and return to the oven for 20 minutes.  Top with a little bit more of the herbs and enjoy.