Cascading Kitchen Notes
Farm Style Greek Moussaka
A wonderfully tasty veggie casserole topped with a Greek béchamel (custard). Truly a celebration of our late summer veggies at Jubilee Farm
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large non-reactive pot
Saute in 1/3 cup of olive oil on medium high heat for 5-6 minutes:
- 1 large onion -diced
- 1 large egg plant -cut into ½ inch cubes (use the whole eggplant-no need to peel or sweat in salt)
Let the egg plant acquire some golden brown before stirring. If you keep poking at it, that won’t happen.
- 2-3 carrots-diced
- 2 lbs of diced peppers (I used all sweet or bell peppers but a few hot ones will add a bit of kick)
- 1 head of garlic-minced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tb oregano
- 4Tb balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
Cook for another 5 minutes.
In a separate skillet
Cook 1 lb of ground lamb or hamburger with a heaping ¼ tsp of each the following spices:
- pinch of unsweetened cocoa
- ½ tsp salt
Add the cooked meat to the veg mixture.
- 2 lbs of diced tomatoes (skin on) and cook for 10 minutes until the liquid has been reduced to a thick slurry and the flavors are beginning to meld.
Correct for amount of salt. That means taste it!
Remove the bay leaf.
Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish
Make the topping:
In a heavy bottomed pot
- 10 Tb olive oil
- 2/3 cup flour (I used organic white)
- ½ tsp salt
Cook over med heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Be careful not to burn it. Stir constantly to cook the flour evenly in the oil.
Cook for 3-4 minutes to make sure the flour is cooked.
- 4 cups of Half & Half
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (This makes all the difference!)
Cook over med heat for about 6 minutes until thickened, stirring with a wire whisk constantly so you don’t get a lumpy béchamel .
In a separate bowl whisk
- 3 whole eggs
Add a small amount (¼ cup)of the hot béchamel to the eggs while whisking constantly.
This is called tempering the eggs so they don’t “Scramble” when you add them to the pot of hot béchamel .
Mix the tempered eggs back into the hot béchamel whisking constantly. Cook for 2 more minutes over medium heat.
Spread the béchamel over the veggie mixture already in the 9 x 13 casserole. I try to seal the edges like a meringue.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 min. until the top is golden brown and the juices start to bubble around the edges.
Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. This ten minute rest is important or serving will be a disaster!
Enjoy with a side of rice or roasted potatoes to catch the sauce on the plate. A green salad or cucumbers tossed in vinegar would be a nice foil to the rich moussaka.Print This Post