Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Halloween Wrap Up: Moussaka

Halloween was a success!  We ended up leaving a bowl of candy out front while we took Thatbaby to houses.  It was empty when we got back, but neighbors attest they didn't see anyone dumping the whole thing in a bag. 

Thatbaby had a blast trick-or-treating.  He was reluctant to knock on the doors, but as soon as they opened, he let out a loud "TRICK OR TREAT" and after being told to take handful after handful of candy he rounded out each house with a "THANK YOU AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN."  It was adorable.

He got a very full bucket of candy which, given the speed at which he consumes a single piece, will last until next Halloween.

When we returned home, we sat on the front steps handing out candy until bedtime.

It started raining Friday night, continued Saturday, and now we have the cool fall whether I've been longing for.  Which means lots of homey-comfort foods are making their way onto our menu.  We kicked it off with chili, then some roast chicken, and then a nice layered dish.  Not lasagna, but moussaka.  Which is like lasagna, except instead of pasta sheets, it uses eggplant.  Which is a nice change of pace.

1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, and thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 can plum tomatoes, pureed until smooth with their juices
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut crosswise into 14-thick slices
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup soft goat cheese
1 cup grated Romano
zest of 1 lemon
  1.   Soak the currants in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain. 
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil saucepan over high heat. Add the lamb, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cayenne, and salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the lamb to a large strainer set over a bowl and drain.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining olive oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add the serrano and garlic and cook for 1 minute. 
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. 
  7. Return the lamb to the pan, add the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. 
  8. Add the tomato puree and currants and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. 
  9. Stir in the parsley and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. 
  10. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the eggplant slices on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the eggplant slices and fry until tender and lightly golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggplant slices to paper towels.
  11. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. 
  12. Still whisking constantly, add the milk and bay leaf and cook until thickened. 
  13. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and discard the bay leaf. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes.
  14. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, goat cheese, and lemon zest and whisk into the white sauce until smooth.
  15. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.  Put half the eggplant slices in the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. 
  16. Top the sauce with the remaining eggplant slices, and then the remaining meat sauce. 
  17. Pour the white sauce over the top of the meat sauce and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. 
  18. Sprinkle Romano evenly over the top, place the dish on a baking sheet, and bake until browned and bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/moussaka-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/moussaka-recipe.html?oc=linkback


  1. ThatBaby looked adorable!!
    What a happy halloween he had!

  2. I noticed that Halloween is getting popular in Asia and Australia these days. We didn't do any dress up but enjoy watching others doing the dress up :p

    We are currently organising a cooking event with Bobby Flay theme. Do you wish to link your post with us? All you need to do is to mention us and our event in your post and submit your link according.


  3. Awww he looks MAJORLY adorable in his costume! And just in general. :)