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Margy, a Greek friend from Richmond, VA, suggested I vegetarianize the Greek dish, Moussaka. By chance I already have! And I was excited to try it again. Be forewarned that this dish requires some time (3 hrs+) and effort (grill pan, 2 pots and casserole dish plus countless whisks, spoons and scrappers), but don't be deterred so says Michael - "The best dish you've done so far for the blog!" and "You've really out done yourself this time!" - and because it makes 8 servings which can be cut up once the Moussaka has cooled, wrapped in foil, frozen and heated up days later...what bang for the buck - yes it is! Costs $2 per serving!!
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Margy’s Vegetarianized Moussaka

April 27, 2008

main, summer

Margy, a Greek friend from Richmond, VA, suggested I vegetarianize the Greek dish, Moussaka. By chance I already have! And I was excited to try it again. Be forewarned that this dish requires some time (3 hrs+) and effort (grill pan, 2 pots and casserole dish plus countless whisks, spoons and scrappers), but don't be deterred so says Michael - "The best dish you've done so far for the blog!" and "You've really out done yourself this time!" - and because it makes 8 servings which can be cut up once the Moussaka has cooled, wrapped in foil, frozen and heated up days later...what bang for the buck - yes it is! Costs $2 per serving!!
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Information

Servings: 8
Time: About 1 1/2 hrs active cooking; 3 1/2 total (1 hr to let eggplant sweat; 1 hr in the oven)
Price: About $2.05 per serving; $16.35 total
Nutrition (per serving):
Calories: 288
Protein: 21.8g
Fat: 4.1g
Saturated fat: 4.1g
Carbohydrates: 30.5g
Fiber: 8.3g
Sodium: 715mg
Cholesterol: 40mg
High In:
Good Source:
Low In:

Ingredients

  • 2 lb eggplant
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-12 oz packs on meatless ground (I used Yves)
  • 15.5 oz can tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Sav Blanc)
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used soy - I find it gives a wonderful nutty flavor to recipes)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 egg

Preparation

  1. Cut the eggplants into 1/4" slices. Layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer generously with salt. Leave for one hour. This pulls out the bitter juice of eggplant.
  2. Rinse the salt off the eggplants and dry throughly. Heat up the grill pan (see commentary below) or the largest skillet you got and spray with cooking spray. Grill both sides until you have those lovely grill marks on each side.
  3. To make the "meat" sauce, heat EVOO in large pot and saute the onion and garlic on medium-low for 10 minutes.
  4. Add "meat" and brown over med-high heat, stirring well.
  5. Add the remaining "meat" sauce ingredients and stir well to combine. Bring down the heat to medium-low, simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  6. To make the b├ęchamel, melt the butter over med-low heat in a smaller pot than the one you used for the "meat" sauce. Stir in flour (note: this is called a roux - another fancy French cookery word) and brown for 2 minutes.
  7. Bring the heat up to medium and add the milk and whisk frequently until it begins to boil. Turn back down to medium-low and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and whisk in nutmeg, salt, pepper, and half the grated cheese.
  9. Preheat oven to 350.
  10. To put it together, place 1/3 of the grilled eggplant in the bottom of a cooking sprayed casserole dish - in a single layer. Spread 1/2 the "meat" sauce evenly over the eggplant, and top with another 1/3 of eggplant in a single layer. Spread with remaining "meat" sauce and then - you guessed it - the last 1/3 eggplant in a single layer.
  11. Crack the egg into the cooling b├ęchamel sauce and whisk to incorporate. Spread this evenly over the whole business and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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