I watch the episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay - Mousaka (baked eggplant & meat). He and a Greek Chef (food writer, cookbook author) made this on the show. I liked some of the ingredients they both used and came up with my own 5-star version.
The basic recipe I started with comes from Popular Greek Recipes (1997), complied by The Ladies of the Philoptochos Society, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Charleston, SC (my sister gave me this as a present for Christmas in 1997). I made a smaller serving size, changed to red onions versus regular white, added lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and Fontinella Cheese to the Crema (béchamel) sauce. Here’s my final recipe if you’re interested.
1 lb venison (ground as for hamburger)
1 red onion
2 eggplant (peeled, sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced fine)
2 tbsp. Olive oil (OO)
2 tbsp butter
½ c water
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
Prep work: Preheat broiler - peel and slice the eggplant, place on cookie sheets; brush one side with OO and then sprinkle with Sea Salt. Place under preheated broiler and watch this (you want it to brown but not burn). Take out and flip all, brush other side with OO and salt, put back in broiler and when this side is browned, take out of oven and set aside.
Preheat oven @ 350°F, on stove-top heat a iron skillet or pan over medium heat, put in the olive oil ( Venison is very lean and it will burn if no oil is added), once it starts browning, add the chopped red onion and garlic clove; brown together for about 10 minutes. Then add parsley and butter. Add tomato sauce and ½ c of water to pan and stir, simmer until thick. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Crema sauce (my version)
3 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 and ½ cup milk
3 oz. of Fontinella cheese (shredded)
3 oz. of parmesan cheese (shredded)
3 egg yolks
Melt butter over medium heat and immediately turn down to low, add the flour and whisk until blended, add the milk and continue to whisk until thickened. Slowly add the egg yolks (mix them up a bit 1st) keep stirring until very thick. Take pot off burner then add the cheeses and stir until they are fully melted into the mixture.
In an 9” x 9” pan, layer with eggplant, meat mixture, eggplant, meat mixture. Then pour Crema sauce over top. Grate some nutmeg on top (only if you like it). Then put in oven and bake about 30 to 40 minutes, until the top starts bubbling. Take out of oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes; serve with your favorite salad, or greens.
I really love how this turned out and hope to make again as it’s not really as labor intensive as it looks if you get things ready and make room for the layering ahead of time (weekend dish for sure).
Since this was my first 3-day weekend (part-time at work now), I also made the Caramel Apple Cake recipe from Mixingbowl.com The Baking Issue(Fall/Winter 2010). As you can see, it's been one day and there isn't much left..
I also was able to clean out my plastics cabinet in the kitchen, cleaned out my knitting book shelf in the living room so I can actually get to the books and magazines;so all in all a nice productive weekend,but I guess I'd better get busy stitching, knitting or sewing at some point .