Moussaka

photo credit (2017) by Tristan Sullivan

Moussaka is one of those foods that seems very familiar, but with a slight twist – a relative to the Italian lasagna, a wine-infused meat ragu is layered between slices of potato and eggplant and then covered with a cheesy bechamel sauce and breadcrumbs.  Especially during cold winter nights, settling down with a slice of moussaka can be just what you needed after a long day at work.

For the revamped 30/40/30 version, I used ground turkey (rather than beef and lamb to decrease the fat content), evaporated milk (rather than whole milk), and made my own bread crumbs using Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.  Surprisingly, the end result tasted just like the full-fat version of this dish.  I think I may end up making this as part of my monthly meal prep staple…

(makes 8 servings)

2 1/2 lbs. large eggplant (about 2)
2 russet potatoes (approximately 4″ long)
5 slices Ezekiel sprouted grain bread
1 onion (about 3″ in diameter), chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
20.8 oz. fat-free ground turkey
28 oz. crush tomatoes (or 1 can)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
5 oz. red wine
12 oz. evaporated milk (or 1 can)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 extra large eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Peel eggplant and potatoes.  Slice eggplant in 1/4″ slices, and potatoes in 1/8″ slices.  Chop onions in 1/8″ pieces.
3.  On a lightly greased baking sheet, lay eggplant & potato slices and Ezekiel bread and bake for 30 minutes, or until eggplant has slightly browned from roasting, potatoes have cooked thoroughly, and bread is hard (like a dry sponge).  Set aside.
4.  In a food processor, add bread and pulse until it turns into fine crumbs.  Set aside.
5.  In a saute pan under medium-high heat, pour 2 tbsp. olive oil, garlic and onions and saute until onions are translucent.
6.  Add ground turkey, spices and salt.  Saute until meat is browned.
7.  Lower heat to medium.  Add wine, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until all ingredients are well-combined.  Cover pan and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by half.
8.  In a separate saucepan under medium heat, add evaporated milk and stir until liquid begins to simmer.  Add Parmesan cheese and whisk until sauce is thick and smooth.  Add eggs and whisk into cheese mixture until well-combined.  Set aside.
9.  In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, lightly spray the surface with cooking oil and cover the bottom of the dish with 1/2 of the bread crumbs.  
10.  Layer 1/2 of the eggplant to cover the whole bottom surface of the dish.  Repeat with 1/2 of the potato slices.  Add 1/2 of the tomato mixture on top of the potato layer.  Repeat this step until all eggplant, potato and meat layers have been added.
11.  Pour cheese sauce over layers and add remaining bread crumbs over the cheese sauce.
12.  Place baking dish in the oven and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, or until bread crumbs are toasted.

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