Palate Pleasers

Meat & Eggplant Moussaka

Posted on: February 18, 2010

I’m sorry that I haven’t been online blogging away with the great things I’ve been eating lately.  It seems that work has overwhelmed my life the past 2 weeks but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don’t anticipate being away that long again.

On my first real official date with Mike we went to George’s in Belmont Shores for Greek food.  I love Greek food and if i remember correctly Mike ordered Eggplant Mousaka saying how much he liked Eggplant.    I don’t think I had ever had anything with Eggplant in it.  It just wasn’t one of those vegetables that I wanted to get to know or learn to cook with.   About a year later I came across this recipe from Weight Watchers,  (The point value 6) and knowing how much Mike liked Eggplant I thought I would give it a try.  This doesn’t have the Bechamel sauce that the traditional Greek Mousakka has, but it does have a nice cheese topping.   I hope you enjoy it!

Directions:

Turn oven to 350 degrees

1 large eggplant – diced into cubes

2 Tbsp Olive Oil  (or more if needed)

1 pound Ground Sirloin (or ground beef)

1 small onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – finely clopped

1 – 16 oz can Tomato Sauce

1/3 Cup red wine

1 tsp dried parsely

1 tsp dried Oregano

1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 large egg white – beaten

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

Once Eggplant is diced, put 2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a non-stick skillet with the Eggplant and Saute until cooked (3-5 minutes).  Add more oil to pan as needed.  Once cooked set aside in separate dish and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute beef, onion and garlic until the beef is brown and onion is gender.  If there is excess oil from the beef you use, drain off the fat.  Stir in 6 ounces of tomato sauce, add the wine, parsley and Oregano.  Add cinnamon if desired.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Return the Eggplant to the beef mixture and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Stir 1/4 cup of beef mixture into the egg white – mix all together and then return egg white/beef mixture to skillet mixing well and cooking an additional 2 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup tomatoe sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Place eggplant/beef mixture into the sauce.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake 20-30 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

COOK’s NOTE:  I drastically changed the recipe to make it more user friendly and faster to prepare.  The original recipe called for slicing the eggplant, salting it and then putting it under the broiler to get the salt out.  I eliminated those steps and chose to saute the eggplant instead mixing the flavors of the olive oil into the eggplant.   The first time I made this I included the cinnamon and Mike didn’t quite the like the taste of it.  So, I’ve left it out ever since.  We don’t miss that spice.  I tend to sprinkle 4 shakes of parsely and 4 shakes of Oregano to suit my tastes along with some Salt and Pepper to taste.  I also add Orzo Pasta or Rice to the bottom of my dish (pre-cooked) before adding the eggplant mixture to give it some Oomph.  It’s really tasty that way too.  Just make it your own dish – it’s very healthy and one that we enjoy often**

Bon Appetit!

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1 Response to "Meat & Eggplant Moussaka"

To me, authentic Greek cuisine needs at least a pinch of cinnamon. It’s kind of the defining flavor in Greek meat dishes. However, I bet it tastes just fabulous without (just not necessarily “Greek”-tasting…). I love making my own variations of dishes to suit my own tastes. Also, if I can shorten a recipe, I will.

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