This was fantastic!! I've always been a fan of moussaka, but I was convinced that I would never be able to pull it off at home. Wrong! I agree that it's very time-consuming - it took over 2 hours. But it was SO worth it. And you feel good eating it since it's so healthy; mine was even healthier since I used nonfat milk/yogurt, low-fat cheese, local grass-fed lamb, and all organic ingredients. Here are a couple of tips: * I don't like green peppers, so I skipped those altogether. I suppose you could use red instead. * Unlike one of the reviewers, there was plenty of meat and the portions were correct. However, next time I might add more tomatoes for extra sauciness. * To maximize my time, I cooked everything in the following order: 1) Prepped the ingredients for the sauce and made that first; 2) Cut the eggplant and let it sit; 3) Cooked the potatoes; 4) Let the yogurt drain; 5) Cooked the eggplant, and made the sauce while it cooked; and 6) Assembled and cooked the dish. Bravo!
Moussaka With Eggplant and Peppers and Yogurt Béchamel
This is an ideal dish for entertaining. Assemble it up to four hours ahead, then pop it in the oven when your guests arrive. Serve with a salad of mixed greens.
Yield: 8 servings
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 434
- Calories from fat: 36%
- Fat: 17.4g
- Saturated fat: 6.4g
- Monounsaturated fat: 7.7g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
- Protein: 27.4g
- Carbohydrate: 43.8g
- Fiber: 4.9g
- Cholesterol: 115mg
- Iron: 2.9mg
- Sodium: 514mg
- Calcium: 384mg
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 (32-ounce) carton plain low-fat yogurt
- Cooking spray
- 3 large green bell peppers
- 1 pound peeled baking potato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 pound lean ground lamb or beef
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped peeled tomato (about 1 pound)
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or dash of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese or Romano cheese
- Dash of nutmeg
- 2 large egg yolks
- Place eggplant in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse and drain; pat dry with paper towels.
- Spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a rubber spatula; cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat broiler.
- Place half the eggplant slices on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with the remaining eggplant.
- Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a broiler pan; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel.
- Place the potato slices on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 7 minutes per side or until golden on both sides.
- Arrange potato slices in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with eggplant slices. Arrange bell pepper halves over eggplant.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well; return to pan. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and next 5 ingredients (tomato through cinnamon stick); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; discard cinnamon stick. Spoon over bell pepper halves.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine the olive oil and flour in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the drained yogurt and milk. Add the yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring continuously; cook until thick (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, dash of nutmeg, and egg yolks.
- Spoon the sauce over the lamb mixture; spreading carefully, run a knife around outside edge to allow sauce to run into dish (dish will be very full). Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 20 minutes.
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