Mini Moussaka Recipe
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
This classic Greek dish is remade in perfect party form: the ramekins are just the right size for a dinner party appetizer, and, layered like a lasagna, the combination of the creamy béchamel with the spiced ground meat complements the smokiness of the eggplant. It’s so delicious your guests will totally be saying, ‘mou-ssak-it-to-me’.
Ingredients:4 ramekins 2 large eggplant, sliced
200 g ground beef
400 g ground lamb 2 shallots, small dice 2 small cloves of garlic, made into a paste with salt
1 tbl finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tbl finely ground cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all-spice ½ tsp nutmeg Olive oil Salt and pepper
4 large tomatoes, concassed and finely chopped. Reserve the extra tomato juice with a splash of water.
1 garlic clove made into a paste with salt.
In a medium saucepan, heat up some olive oil with the garlic paste. Add the concasse tomatoes and let cook for 2-3 min until the olive oil is incorporated. Add the reserved tomato juice and water, decrease heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 min until a thick sauce develops. Season with salt and pepper.
Béchamel Sauce:1/3 cup butter, ½ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup milk, sprinkle of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Whisk together a roux (equal parts by weight butter and all purpose flour) over medium heat. Add 1 cup milk and whisk until a thick smooth sauce develops (8-10 min). Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
1- De-gorge the eggplant: salt the slices and let them drain in a colander over a bowl for 30 min to release the bitter juices.
2- Season the meat in a medium bowl with salt, pepper, the chopped herbs, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and allspice.
3- Brown the meat in a large sauté pan with olive oil, the garlic paste and diced shallots over medium-high heat. Add in the tomato sauce and let cook for a further 2 min. Set aside.
4- Fry off the eggplant slices and drain on paper towel.
5- Layer the moussaka: eggplant, meat with tomato sauce, béchamel until you reach the top (depending on ramekin size, this should be 2-4 layers). Make sure you end with béchamel sauce.
6- Place in the oven at 350 degrees and cook until the béchamel starts to brown and become slightly crunchy (20-25 min). Serve garnished with parsley.