Recipes

Premier Series

March, 2014

Moussaka

This eggplant version is the traditional rendition, however you can also layer in potatoes, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you prefer. It's hearty and filling, serve it with your Vinum Cellars wines and enjoy!

Ingredients

• 3 eggplants
• 2 lbs. ground lamb or beef
• salt and pepper
• butter
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp Fines Herbes
• 2 Tbsp parsley
• 1 - 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup red wine
• olive oil
• 4 cups béchamel sauce
• grated Parmesan cheese

Peel and cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2" slices; sprinkle with salt, and set aside on paper towels to absorb the moisture. Meanwhile prepare the meat sauce.

Sauté the ground meat in butter, with salt, pepper, onions and garlic, crumbling the meat with a fork. When the meat is evenly browned, add cinnamon, nutmeg, Fines Herbes, parsley and tomato sauce; stir, mix well, add wine, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Wipe the salted eggplant; lightly oil a skillet with a pastry brush and quick fry the eggplant over very high heat; lay on paper towels to drain. (By following this method your eggplant will not absorb too much oil.) In a greased 9x13x2 baking pan, place a layer of eggplant, top with meat mixture, sprinkle with grated cheese, cover with the remaining eggplant, sprinkle with grated cheese, and cover with béchamel sauce.

Top moussaka lavishly with grated cheese, and bake at 350º for 1 hour. Allow to cool, and then cut into 3" squares.

Makes 12 servings.

Variations: Substitute 2 pounds of zucchini for the eggplant. OR substitute 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4" and fried.

Béchamel Sauce (makes 4 cups)

• 1/2 cup butter
• 6 Tbsp flour
• 2 cups hot milk
• 2 cups hot chicken stock
• juice of 2 lemons
• salt and white pepper
• pinch of thyme
• pinch of nutmeg
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a pan, add flour and stir until smooth. Lower heat and add the hot milk and stock, stirring constantly until it thickens. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Stir in the cheese and blend until warm and melted. Pour over Moussaka while still warm.