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Mini Moussaka Recipe

Tasty Tip

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

Tomato sauce:

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.

 Directions:

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.

 

Party Like a Rock Star: Stanton Social NYC

Rock Star Contributor: Ashley Klein
 When thinking of the perfect place to go with the girls for a fun and
upbeat Friday night head to Stanton Social!
 This 3 floor dining establishment located on the Lower East Side, is
the perfect loungey spot in the city to eat great food and drink!
My tip: hang out after you finish your delicious meal at the young and
hip bar filled with attractive 20 somethings.
 Each floor of Stanton Social  has a tasteful 1940′s look and feel
with fringe and dark wood covered walls and glass lamps dangling from the ceiling.
 Aside from the decor, the food is absolutely fab! What makes it the
best place to hang out with the gals is the multi-ethnic menu that is
meant for sharing. The food variety ranges from Kobe Beef Sliders to
French Onion Soup Dumplings, and Maryland Jumbo Crab Cake Corn Dogs.
Yummy in my tummy! The best part: no
one needs to feel left out, as all sharing plates are customized to
accommodate every person at the table to try!
 Most people will hang around the bar jamming to the great music following
their meal. Just another way to enjoy the ambiance and gossip with
your best girl friends over a few more cocktails.Looking to cure that killer hangover from a fabtastic night out, check out
the spectacular brunch at Stanton Social. Maybe you will even run into
the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, who were spotted there this
month!

The Perfect Party Pants: Zara Snake Skin

Hey hot pants! Animal prints are so in right now and these pants really make a statement! If you’re ready to have a wild night, this outfit is your answer. I swear they will bring out the sass in your ass! Pair the pants with a simple black blouse and you are good to go!

 Budget Brilliance: Pants + Shirt = $64.90! Cheap and so cute to boot!