When I travel around the world some of my most memorable memories revolve around food. From street food to fancy restaurants, from munchies to locals cooking for us, food is always a catalyst for good times. One of my favorite cuisine so far has been Greek food, mainly because they use olive oil in everything. So when I get nostalgic I usually cook a mean moussaka that appease my withdrawal of Greek food for a while. My friends were coming over to spend the evening and I decided to make one.
Moussaka is the Greek version of the lasagna, (or maybe lasagna is the Italian version of the Moussaka....I don't know my food history very well) but instead of beef it's ground lamb and instead of layers of pasta there are layers of eggplants. It's an easy recipe and in Los Angeles the hardest part of that dish is actually finding ground lamb in a local store (I bought mine at Payless Internatioal Market - 10817 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles -)
Ingredients (4 people):
- 2lbs of Ground Lamb
- 3 Eggplants
- Tomatoe Sauce
- One onion
- 200g of Feta Cheese
- 200g of Swiss/Gruyére Cheese
I would recommend preparing the eggplants slices first: Wash and cut the eggplants in slices with the skin on. Drizzle olive oil and let them roast in the oven for bout 15 minutes then sizzle them on a separate pan at a low temperature until they get a little soft. Keep the slices on a separate plate for later.
Cook the onions in a pan until golden, add the ground lamb and cook until the meat is almost ready, add red wine, crumbled feta cheese and a can of tomatoe sauce (or real tomatoe sauce if you have the time ;) and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
In a separate oven safe dish you will cover the entire bottom of the dish with eggplants, then you will add a layer of the meat sauce until you have completely covered the first layer of eggplants. Then you w ll add another layer of eggplants You will repeat that process until the dish is full. Add a layer of swisss/gruyére cheese at the top for a nice cheesy crust and put in the oven on 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until cheese is browned to perfection.
Then enjoy this dish with a few friends and a nice glass of wine....mmmmmm.