Vegetarian Moussaka

Vegetarian Moussaka.

Well, I just started following the Forbiddenriceblog.  There is so much good information on her blog and I love it.  Once I read today how she made the carrot apple drink I love so much I was sold.  She puts grapes in her drink, I think I will give it a try.  After all, it looks good.

Anywhoooooo, she made a vegetarian Moussaka, which I had never heard of but it looked so good I had to try it.  I went out to my local grocery to buy all the items that I did not have on hand for this wonderful meal tonight.

I used her instructions but she did not tell when to put in the tomato paste so I added it.  Now, let’s get started….

Vegetarian Moussaka (this is from the forbiddenriceblog)

Ingredients:

For the red sauce:
½ cup currants, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
¼ cup olive oil
1½ medium onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 pkg. Gimme Lean ground sausage ( I only used one)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. ground allspice
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. tomato paste
one 28-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
1 cup red wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare the red sauce:
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and minced garlic. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the onions are tender and translucent. Add in the Gimme Lean sausage, breaking it up into crumbles. Stir to combine with the onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until lightly browned all over.

Stir in the diced bell pepper, soaked (and drained) currants, and all the spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bell pepper just begins to soften. Add in the canned tomatoes, including the juice. Use a wooden spoon to mash the tomatoes apart into bite-sized chunks, (at this point I added the tomato paste).  Stir to evenly combine all the ingredients. Stir in the red wine, then salt and pepper to your liking. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the fake sausage, and the mixture thickens. *I actually cooked my sauce for nearly two and a half hours. It won’t hurt the sauce and in fact deepens the flavors a bit.

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This is the Onions, garlic, and sausage

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Getting it all brown

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Added the peppers

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Adding all the spices

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Adding the tomatoes and paste

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Adding the red wine, salt and pepper

Prepare the eggplant: 

While the red sauce is cooking, slice off the top and bottom ends of each eggplant. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, into slabs about ¼-inch thick. Sprinkle each slice, on both sides, with sea salt. Set in a colander in the sink for 30-40 minutes, allowing the eggplant to sweat. (This removes the bitterness from the eggplant.) After the vegetable has had time to sweat, rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with a dish towel or paper towels.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Lightly brush each side of the eggplant with oil before lightly sprinkling with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or two. Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through, to achieve a nice dry char on both sides of each eggplant slice. Remove to a cooling rack until the eggplant comes to room temperature.

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Mine did not come out as well.  I was very disappointed that it was not cooking as it should.

Prepare the potatoes: 
Slice the potatoes into rounds about 1/8-inch thick. Heat enough oil in a large frying pan to reach a depth of about ¼-inch. Fry the potatoes in single-layered batches over medium-high heat, for 7-8 minutes until they’re tender but still pale in color. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain. Continue doing this until all the potatoes have been cooked. Increase the heat to high and fry the potatoes until crisp and golden brown on each side (30-60 seconds). Drain well on paper towels again.

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For the béchamel sauce:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
¼ medium onion
2 whole cloves
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
3 egg yolks
½ cup goat cheese
the zest from one whole lemon
salt and white pepper, to taste

For the moussaka:
2 pounds large globe eggplant (about 3 small eggplants)
sea salt
olive oil
3 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled
1 cup shredded parmesan and/or romano cheese

So this really does take a long time  I was very tired by the end.  Here is my completed dish

Dinner 003

I think my pan was to big

 

As you can see, mine does not look all that good but for the first time making it I think I did good

As you can see, mine does not look all that good but for the first time making it I think I did good

It is too late to have it for dinner tonight so we will have it tomorrow.  I will let you know how it taste.

 

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4 thoughts on “Vegetarian Moussaka

  1. I’m glad you decided to give this a try… sorry it didn’t come out early enough for you to enjoy after making it, though! (It really is time consuming…) Thanks for pointing out that I forgot to mention when to add the tomato paste; total brain-lapse! 🙂 I’ve added it to the original recipe – and it absolutely went in when you added it! Thanks for reposting/ following my blog, too. It’s appreciated!

    • We enjoyed it tonight for dinner. It has a spicy/sweet infused flavor. I did have a question, when making the béchamel sauce you are not clear on how to mix and cook it. I melted the butter then added the flour it never reached the point of thick but it was smooth. I added the milk and cream and cheese. When I was to add the egg yolks was confusing. I added them in a mixing bowl with the flour mixture and then pure all that on top of the dish. It came out good but I am not sure I did it right. I used Feta cheese instead of goat. Not a big fan of goat cheese. hahahahaha All in all we loved it. Thanks. Planning on trying some others you have.

  2. Sorry for the confusion!

    For a traditional béchamel, you melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. It’s not going to thicken – but it will get smooth, like you noticed. The point of cooking it to smoothness is to remove the “flour” taste.

    Next, you add in the milk and cream, whisking until smooth. This is where thickening will start to happen, slowly, if you’re cooking over a low-ish heat.

    I mixed the egg yolks and goat cheese together, before adding the mixture to the milk/butter/flour mixture. I’m curious about the feta – I love feta cheese, but imagine it may have melted a little oddly? You can omit the cheese completely… The reason I opted for goat cheese is because it melts well (and I enjoy the tanginess). While I’m mixing the egg yolks and cheese, the milk/sauce is still on my stove…

    I added a little of the milk mixture to the egg yolks, to temper them – adding the yolks to the hot milk mixture will give you scrambled eggs if you’re not careful! 🙂 I whisk the tempered egg mixture into the pot of thickened milk/butter sauce, stirring continuously for about 30 seconds before removing it from the heat completely.

    Sound more complicated than it actually is… but hopefully a little clearer? Sounds like you made a tasty version anyway! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the dish, regardless!

    • The Feta was great! I enjoyed it very much. My husband was over joyed with dinner. I followed the directions as you stated for the egg yolks, I only used feta cheese instead of goat. I was inspired by your dish to create something of my own. I will post it today. I think you will like it. It was really good and again, my husband loved it.

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