Again, this is another first for me – I seem to have the habit of trying out new dishes instead of sticking to regular ones, especially regular Asian dishes. When I first arrived, sure, I went nuts and cooked up a flurry of Asian dishes but right now, it’s just Western/European dishes. I don’t know why really. I guess it’s a new learning experience for me and besides, I married an ang moh so don’t you think I ought to learn a thing or two about cooking ang moh dishes?
Today, it’s Moussaka, a dish that originated from Greece. There are a few variations – the one thing great about cooking is that it evolves and adapts to communities around the world – but it usually contains eggplant, mince meat (lamb or beef), béchamel sauce and cheese.
This is a dish that I would say is halfway between being hearty and light. The eggplant gives it an added smooth quality, the kind you get from roasting or grilling eggplants. And I just realized that I read the recipe wrong. Instead of dry-frying my eggplant slices, I (shallow) deep fried them! =.=
Anyway, putting that blunder aside, do take note that this dish oozes liquid out and it’s from the tomatoes. There isn’t much you can do about it except treat it like any baked dish and scoop up the broth with rustic nut bread. In my case, it’s not exactly healthy because of my mistake. If I do make this dish again (and I will – it’s really quite yummy), I plan to just line the pan with fresh eggplant (soaked in salt water to remove the bitterness in the veg) instead of browning them separately…
2 eggplants, thinly sliced
450gms ground beef
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
400gms canned tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 cup lowfat plain yoghurt
Pizza cheese (Parmesan alone is fine)
Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Dry-fry the eggplant slices, in batches, in a nonstick pan on both sides until browned. Remove from pan.
- Add the beef to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until browned. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until browned.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, then bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- Arrange half the eggplant slices in a layer in an ovenproof dish. Add the meat mixture, then a final layer of the remaining eggplant slices.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add in the yoghurt, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the eggplants and sprinkle some grated cheese on the top.
- Bake the moussaka in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve straight from the dish.