Kitchen disaster: My Interpretation of Moussaka

So I went online looking for a nice Moussaka recipe and Epicurious delivered (as it usually does)

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 lb eggplant (2 large or 3 medium)
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, or as needed
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/4 lb ground lamb (or substitute beef, turkey, pork, or combination)
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cloves
  • Small piece cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 cups Cheese Sauce

1. Peel, salt, and rinse the eggplant if desired (see note “Preparing Eggplant for Cooking” below).
2. Place potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Over medium-high heat bring them to a boil and boil lightly for 5 minutes. Cool, cut into 1/8-inch slices, and set aside.
3. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the eggplant to the hot oil a few slices at a time and sautéthe eggplant slices, turning as necessary, until tender and lightly colored, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a rack to drain while you sauté the remaining eggplant, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary.
4. To prepare a meat sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the ground meat and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the meat loses its raw appearance, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, allspice, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup water. Simmer until thick and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Add the tomato paste and red wine and continue simmering until the wine has developed a sweet aroma, about 10 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6. To assemble the moussaka: Scatter the bread crumbs in a deep, rectangular baking dish. Place a layer of half of the eggplant slices over the bread crumbs. Add the meat sauce and spread it into an even layer. Place an even layer of sliced potatoes over the sauce. Add the remaining eggplant in an even layer over the meat sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the eggplant. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese sauce is thick and golden brown and the eggplant is very tender, about 45 minutes. Let the moussaka rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

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However, when I tried it, it did not come out like that. I made a few substitutions (ground turkey instead of lamb, no breadcrumbs and mushroom soup instead of tomato sauce and wine and no cheese sauce.)

My recipe was basically slices of potatoes alternating with slices of eggplant and ground turkey and there was one layer of cream of mushroom sauce. There’s no reason why it was not good, it should have tasted interesting. I’ll play with this concept again but not right now, I’m so sick of eggplants right now. I’ll even try the recipe indicated above and follow it to the letter.

The result was not appetizing (the kids did not want to try nor did my husband)

It might be pretty but it’s not tasty


2 thoughts on “Kitchen disaster: My Interpretation of Moussaka

  1. Hey Marie-Claude I will get you my mother's recipe, it seems a lot easier than the one you posted above….I must say however, you are very courageous. Keep up the good work.

The floor is now open, you have the mike

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