Layers of eggplant are smothered between a delicious meat sauce and topped with a creamy béchamel. With hints of cinnamon ...
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Every time I think I have a great recipe, Rouxbe comes up with a better one! Even though I mistakenly added a 28 oz can of tomatoes instead of 15oz it still turned out well. Luckily I had more of the other ingredients so improvised. After watching the cooking school videos, I cooked the bechamel sauce for 20 minutes - it actually need that much time to thicken anyway. Next time I will make that sauce first so it has time to cool. It was a bit time consuming but worth every minute - I now have 3 leftover meals for 2 in the freezer.
I am very impressed with this site. Your recipes so far are spot on! I was particularly pleased and surprised on your accuracy of the Moussaka recipe. This is the authentic way of making it..NO potatoes, and egg in the Bechamel. The only variations I noticed here, are that the eggplants were not fried prior to assembly but grilled instead, and the addition of the breadcrumbs and olive oil on the base of the pan. Between the fried eggplants and the sauce, there's enough oil in the pan to keep anything from sticking.It also seems like an extra step to add the olive oil just to coat with breadcrumbs. Thank you, and keep up the great video recipes!!
Thanks for your comments! The eggplant can definitely be fried...this version is just a little lighter by baking it. The olive oil is optional and the breadcrumbs just help to soak up any excess liquid, not to prevent sticking. Mmmmmm...I haven't had this in a while. It's on my list of things to make. Great to hear you like the site. Happy Cooking!
We really liked the way this turned out. Although it was a bit of work it was easy to follow and the result was well worth the effort.
A couple of things that we struggled with:
* What does it mean "Cinnamon stick (broken)"? Does this mean broken in half? Or into pieces that you then have to fish out? The stick broke anyways and were fishing out pieces of wood out of the meal.
* "add cinnamon through pepper" - I think this meant that you have to add the ingredients between cinnamon and pepper but it took me a very long to figure out that instruction. It could be written clearer.
Keep up the good work!
If you are halving the recipe that does not necessarily mean that the cooking time will change much. For example, the eggplant will likely take the same to cook, there will just be less of it. Same for the meat sauce and bechamel. When baking times this may be a bit less but again just look for it to be hot and golden.
One important thing to remember when cooking and following recipes is that cooking times are merely estimations. It is more important to learn what to look for so you that eventually you can tell when things are done based on what they look like rather than what the timer says. Hope this helps. Cheers!
Some of the eggplant burned. I used processed olive oil, not EVOO, but next time I will turn the temperature down to 425. I have one recipe that suggests you pour the olive oil into the baking pan, then coat the slices. That's worked for me in the past. (I do have an oven thermometer, so that wasn't the problem.)
Please move the amount of ground cloves up to under the nutmeg. I guesstimated correctly, but it would help to have it in the right place.
Order of preparation seems very wasteful of energy. Since the meat sauce takes the most time, that should be done first, then the eggplant. My oven was running empty for a long time, and it's hot here!
Lastly, I'm glad I followed my notes on making Bechamel rather than the recipe. This recipe doesn't have you cook off the flour on low, but I did.
I loved these lessons on the sauces, and I love this school. Thanks for not being mad at my fussiness.
Good that you made your own tweaks and adjustments. That is what cooking is all about!
Regarding the ingredient, it has been moved to be closer to the other spices. We had a software glitch in the past that kept shifting ingredients and it looks like this one didn't get caught. This is why it's always a good idea to read the recipe through and do all of your mise en place first :) The recipe has been updated, although it will take a bit for the changes to be reflected.
Good that you used what you learned and cooked the bechamel, although it will continue to cook during baking. In the end, hope you enjoyed the dish! Cheers!
You're right about the mise en place, but I still think the order should be switched around. I loved doing the bechamel and the dish was delicious. I did it with lamb. And I made a big salad, thanks to my garden. Thanks for all your gentle guidance.
I love this recipe. I have made it twice so far, and I think it will become part of our regular household repertoire. I particularly like this recipe with plum chutney -- it really rounds out the sweet spices in the meat sauce.
I think I agree with Stephanie H. about the order of steps in the format. The first time I made this, I started the eggplant first. That was a mistake. The recipe took about 2 hours to make -- the sauce needs time for the flavors to blend. The second time I made this recipe, I started with the meat sauce first. The total time was cut by at least 1/2 hour.
This recipe turned out great! For those looking for a gluten-free "bechamel" for the topping, I used one cup of full-fat greek yoghurt + three eggs + ~1/4 or 1/3 cup of grated parmesan + some nutmeg.
I also subbed some zucchini for eggplant (prepared in exactly the same way). I love that the eggplant is baked instead of cooked in olive oil on the stovetop. The oven method leaves the eggplants drier and so they absorb a lot of the excess fluid from the sauce. Previous moussakas have been floating in grease at the bottom!
I have to say Kimberley... YUM YUM! I live with my partner, we got 6 generous portions, spread over 3 days and we still aren't tired of it! Served with a roasted portobello mushroom and some chunky fries to mop up the sauce.
I unknowingly followed Silas and halved the "Aubergine", with "Courgette" ;). Mainly because that's what I had and it really worked. Yes it's time consuming but here's the kick, I'd do it again, and again. It's a keeper.
I used gluten free flour, again, just because that's all I had at the tme and it came out great. I had medium eggs so I use 2 whole and 2 yolks. I got a little scared when my nutty blond roux went from being silky smooth to a thick ball when I added the milk? Took me ages to whisk out the lumps and for a bit it tasted oatmeal-y. It wasn't until I added the eggs that it all became clear!
I was daunted about pouring such a relatively thin liquid over those lovely veg and meat layers but if they're packed right, only a bit trickles down the sides and the egg gets the sauce to set somewhat in the oven. Magic in the kitchen.
If anything, it improves with age. Having had it 3 days in a row, we really noticed the end result get better and better in the fridge.
It's BETTER than lasagne! Lean meat, plenty of veg, less carbs. OK lots of butter and I snuck in some mozarella and Puy D'Anglois but let's not split hairs LOL
Yay! Glad you liked it! It doesn't matter if it is the best recipe in the world...what matters is that you properly executed the dish! Without knowing proper skills and techniques, even the best recipe can be a failure. Give yourself a pat on the back as this is a longer dish to prepare. Regarding the roux, you may need to temper the liquid in more slowly next time (check out the lesson on Bechamel). Cheers!
Whenever I consider making meals a staple, I think of ways to make them healthier.
I found a recipe online for a vegetable lasagne that uses a butternut sauce instead of a roux based bechamel. No sauce, no cream... if I added the eggs... you think this could work? Sounds interesting.
I really can't say without trying it myself. I'm not sure how you make a "bechamel" without liquid. Sometimes recipes use terms incorrectly. Basically, eggs are binders; so, if they are mixed with cooked butternut squash and then the mixture is baked, it will become somewhat firm. You will need to experiment. The only way you'll know is to try it out. Let us know how it goes! Cheers!
I have made this moussaka many times. Last time, I happened to have a cooling rack nearby and I noticed that the washed slices of eggplant would fit neatly into the slots . I lined them up to drain and needed only 2 paper towels to finish drying them. It saved work and paper:)
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