Rita Jasper’s MOUSSAKA recipe
The common principle is layers of vegetables (eggplants or potatoes) alternating with layers of minced meat + tomato sauce + onions, topped with Bechamel sauce and baked in a oven. Grated Parmesan or similar cheese can also be sprinkled on top. It is generally served hot, but can also be eaten cold. It can be a meat-less moussaka, but I do not have a vegetarian recipe.
Ø 3 eggplants
Ø 1-2 onions
Ø finely sliced or chopped 1 1/2 lb. lamb or beef (I love lamb but whenever I’ve used lamb it seemed to be overwhelming. What I do is simmer the ground beef with water all day and continually replenish the water; the meat becomes soft).
Ø ground allspice or 1 t. ground cinnamon (some recipes say optional, but I say if you are going to do anything do right and go for broke, I use both spices)
Ø 1 tomato, skinned and chopped 2-3 T. tomato concentrate 2-3 T.
Ø chopped parsley (I use cilantro)
Ø 2 T. butter
Ø 2 T. flour (I prefer rice flour sometimes called Tempura because it seems a little lighter)
Ø 1/2 pint milk
Ø Pinch of grated nutmeg
Ø 1 egg yolk
1) Fry the onions in 2 T. of oil until pale golden. Add the minced meat and fry until browned; then simmer in water for the day. Season with salt and pepper and flavor with allspice or cinnamon. Add the chopped tomato, tomato concentrate and parsley or cilantro.
2) Pour off excess water or meat fat before layering in deep baking pan/pot.
3) Peel and slice the eggplants thinly, sprinkle with salt and allow their bitter juices to drain in a colander for at least 1/2 hour. Squeeze, wash in cold water and pat dry. Fry lightly in oil. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
4) Put alternate layers of eggplant slices and meat onion mixture in a deep backing dish, starting and ending with a layer of eggplant. For color I put sliced carrot or mashed yam on top of the eggplant and then the meat mixture.
5) Slowly heat milk.
5) In another pot prepare the Bechamel sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan, add rice flour and stir over low heat for a few minutes until well blended. Add the hot milk gradually, stirring until it boils, taking care not to allow lumps to form. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Beat the egg yolk. Stir in a little of sauce and beat well. Pour back into the pan slowly, stirring constantly. Do not allow the sauce to boil again. Pour the sauce over the minced meet and eggplant and bake in a preheated moderate oven (375 F) for about 45 minutes. Serve hot, straight from the dish.
If you use water instead of milk it is also kosher.
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