ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Moussaka - My Favorite Eggplant Dish

Updated on April 7, 2013
Source

My introduction to eggplant

Eggplant happens to be one of my favorite veggie, given that it is cooked properly. I was introduced to it in college while I was in England. Yes, in England, although it is not a common English vegetable.

As the story goes, like most students I was busy with my studies, and didn't watch what i was eating. Snickers bar was always there to rescue me when the hunger pain struck at lunch time. Very convenient, filling, and always satisfying! A college student, what did we Know about nutrition!
A friend of mine, I guess, felt sorry for me, dragged me to the cafeteria with her. Her excuse, there were some new chefs from Greece, Cyprus to be precise, and we have to try their food! So I went along with her my mind still on the project I was working on, constantly checking my watch.... Time is precious!

Source

I didn't really care what she was ordering and what was being put in front of me, I was just letting letting her think that she was the boss! The first thing that hit me was the wonderful aroma that filled my nostril. My mind was finally waking up to the surrounding around me. I saw this beautiful plate of moussaka, with white rice, green salad, and pita bread, edging me to dive in. I was introduced to eggplant, cooked in a most succulent way, and the taste that I could never forget.

Since then I have tried quite a few different versions of this dish, and I have come up with this easy, and healthier recipe that my family and friends love! With the ingredients that are already on hand, the dish can't get any easier!

Changes:

The variations that I have made to this dish is to make this dish healthier; you can change or add as you like:

- The original moussaka is made with lamb. I like making it with half beef, and half chicken. You can replace the beef with any lean meat you like.

- some cooks use cinnamon, and allspice, I don't always use them.

- I make my béchamel without butter, and it is still pretty good.

- I don't use eggs to glacé the top.

- and I don't fry the eggplants!

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 35 min
Yields: Approx. for 6 to 8 people

Here Goes:

(The cooking time is an approximation. It can vary from individual to individual. I have added the cooking time for eggplant and the béchamel to the actual cooking time listed above.)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 lbs Lean ground chicken
  • 2 to 4 Eggplants, Medium size
  • 1 Large onion, Diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, To taste
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For the meat
  • 2 to 3 tbsp Olive oil, For the eggplant
  • For The White Sauce .........
  • 2 cups Low fat milk
  • 1/2 a can Light evaporated milk
  • 2 to 3 tbsp Flour, Or as needed
  • Salt and Pepper, To taste

Preparation:

In Three simple steps:

1) Eggplant:

Slice the eggplants thin, about 1/4 inch thick. Wash them and soak them in water with little salt. Let it sit for 5 to 10 min.

Strain the eggplants and pat dry with paper towel. Pour the rest of the olive oil in a large baking dish, toss the eggplants in it, and put it in a preheated oven (375 F) uncovered. Bake the eggplants until there look cooked, and the top ones are slightly brown.

Meat sauce:

Do this while the eggplants are in the oven.
Pour two tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions, and stir to coat the onions. Fry the onions until translucent, then add the spices and the tomato paste. Stir quickly and add little water at a time to fry the spices. Once you see the spices bubbling add the meat to it and stir them all together. Lower the heat a little and cover. Cook the meat on its own juice. If it seems too dry, add just a little water and cover. Cook until the meat looks cooked for about 15 min. Set it aside.

Béchamel:

Put all the ingredients for the white sauce in a medium pot, and put it over medium heat. Stir constantly while it is heating. I find the whisk to be the best tool for mixing the white sauce....
Once it has thicken take it off the heat, and you are ready to assemble the moussaka. Take the baking dish with the eggplant and put the meat sauce on top of that in an even layer. Pour the béchamel over the meat. Put it in the oven uncovered for about 1/2 an hour at 375 F. Or until it's golden brown. Once it is done take it out and let it sit for about 10 to 15 min before serving.

It goes best with fresh bread, white rice, and green salad. Serve it for lunch or dinner, and enjoy!

Please Rate This Recipe. Thanks!

Cast your vote for MOUSSAKA
Source

Would You Try This Recipe?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Meena 2 years ago

      Ya, we love this too, sometime when lzyubag hit me, I just throw the whole eggplant into the ricecooker to cook it, and sprinkle some soy sauce with fried dried shrimp or shallots when ready to serve;)Didnt see this soy sauce brand before.

    • profile image

      Enis 2 years ago

      Oh so simple yet looks so dceilious. I love how it's pan-fried with little oil! I like to bake eggplant then add a gochujang-based glaze over it near the end and turn it to grill =) Have a nice weekend! and Happy Duan Wu Jie!

    • profile image

      Mohamed 2 years ago

      Sonia, it's been awhile that I got a chcnae to spend reading my favorite blogs. I was getting caught up on many of your posts. Love the visit to Melborne. Can't wait for Japan! This dish is perfect, so simple, and I love sweet soy sauce. I used it last night for my husband's dinner when he got home late from work. A quick stir fry, and he likes the flavor of the sweet soy sauce too.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks, 2Patricias! Yes, the intend was to reduce the calories. Glad you caught on that. Appreciate your stopping by and commenting :)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Interesting to add chicken. I guess it reduces the calories.

      Nice illustrations - the recipe looks easy to follow.

      I am adding this to my Recipe Index for HubPages.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks Lisa for your visit and your vote :)

      Hope you enjoy the Moussaka....

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 5 years ago

      I love eggplant and can't wait to try this! I voted up!

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks sgbrown! I hope you and your hubby both like this! It's a wonderful change from our regular menu. Appreciate your visit :)

      @unknown spy, thanks for your visit, and your comment. Hope you like it too....

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      thanks for sharing, maybe i'll have to try this one. we have lots of eggplants here.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I haven't eaten eggplant in years. I actually thought about growing some this year. I am going to try your recipe and if hubby likes it, I will be planting eggplant next year. This sound very delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Okra.... lol, took me a long time to get used to it. I have only eaten it in Gumbo style, never tried it fried. Have to try it..... don't know about raw, though! :)

      Thanks for your comment and visit!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting recipe. Not a big fan of eggplant but I'd be willing to try this. Your story reminds me of when I first tried okra when I was in the Navy. Sat down to lunch and the guy across the table from me had a bowl of fried okra from the chow line. I said, what is that? He told me, let me try some, and I've loved it ever since. I like it fried but also in gumbo and will even eat it right off the plant. Not a lot of people like it raw b/c it has a rather slimy texture.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks for your comment, vote, and everything! Hope you do try it, it's delicious..... :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Sounds terrific. I'll definitely try this. Love eggplant. Thanks for sharing.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks for reading my hub. I love this recipe, and it's pretty simple. Hope you enjoy it; Yeah, and try not to burn the house down :)

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Oh, I love eggplant but I have never tried Moussaka at home, only bought it cooked already. Thank you for the instructions, I printed your lovely recipe down and I'll try it out this week, it looks so easy and yummy, I hope I won't burn down the house though... I'll try. =)

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Hope you like it.... Thanks for stopping by. I am on my way to read your new one :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I have every intention of trying this recipe. In fact, I think I will do this Sunday. Thanks so much.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thank you for letting me know! How do I go about correcting it? This is not right!!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thanks Brett for sharing. I have tried eggplants in Thai food too, but don't know how to make it. Have to find a good recipe for that. If you know a recipe then share it with us. :) love trying out new dishes!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Never tried the dish before, which by the way looks delicious, but have tried egg plant. I like it too and was fist introduced via Thai food.

      Socially shared, up, interesting and awesome.

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thank you for your uplifting comment! I hope you like it, wonderful dish! My favorite are also eggplants and Meat, but have to cut down on meat though :(

      Aren't we up late!! lol......

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Oh! My!!...simply delicious LaThing! The pictures top the cake and your explanation is pretty much down to earth and understandable. Will bookmark and keep it for this summer. Love Eggplants by the way... and meat!

      LORD

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Thank you Deborah, and JS! It's a great dish, try it and let me know how it went.

      Thanks for your vote, and sharing.....

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have heard of this dish but never tried it. Sounds very delicious! Nice job! Voted up and sharing.

      JSMatthew~

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I grow eggplant in my garden and am always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks great!

    • LaThing profile image
      Author

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      @vespa, thanks for the comment, and the vote. I hope you like it. Appreciate your reading my hub!

      @Poowool, yes, it's a great dish, also adding cinnamon brings out the flavor of the lamb. But I like it with chicken, and/or beef. Thanks for the vote, and your comment.

      Lol..... I have read so many wonderful recipes...... like you said, that 'yummy' button is missing!

    • poowool5 profile image

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Mmmm, scrumptious! This is a dish I have loved but not had in years. Don't think you hear of it much in the States? Was v popular in England (where I am from) back in the seventies and eighties. Bring it back! Moussaka's time is here again..thanks for reviving interest in this classic, delicious and healthy dish!

      Voted up and yummy (there is a "yummy" button, right?)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This recipe sounds great! I also love moussaka, but had never considered making the bechamel without butter. What a good idea. Thank you...voted up and useful.