Monday, February 11, 2008

Lamb Moussaka

I've had a hankering for greek food for a while now. What I'd really love is a huge gyro sandwich that is as big as my head brimming with yogurt sauce and french fries on the side shoved right into the pita. Yum. But alas I have yet to find a good place for such a craving.

Anyway, I've also been craving some moussaka but since it's notorious for being a heavy dish, I hit cooking light for this recipe below. I'm hoping to make it for dinner tonight. I'll be sure to post about how it goes.


Lamb mixture:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
2 cups chopped onion
Cooking spray
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large garlic clove, minced

2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Remaining ingredients:
2 (1 1/4-pound) eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
Oregano sprigs (optional)


To prepare lamb mixture, cook lamb in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Remove from pan; drain. Set aside. Wipe skillet with paper towels.

Add onion to pan coated with cooking spray; sauté 5 minutes. Add lamb, currants, and next 7 ingredients (currants through garlic); bring to a boil. Cook until thick (about 30 minutes).

Preheat broiler.

To prepare sauce, cook 1 1/2 cups milk and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Combine 1/2 cup milk, egg whites, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg white mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan, and cook until thick (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Place half of eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook potato slices in boiling water 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.

Arrange potatoes in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half the eggplant slices over potatoes. Pour 4 cups lamb mixture over eggplant, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Arrange remaining eggplant over cheese, and top with the remaining lamb mixture. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Spread sauce over cheese, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.


8 servings

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