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Moussaka with Feta Cheese
Moussaka was one of Pierre's favorite Greek dishes. He would make it at Le Pavillon with a French twist -- substituting feta cheese with a combination of gruyere and parmesan cheese. Watch him make this recipe on his cooking show Cuisine Rapide: Pierre's Favorite Recipes.
INGREDIENTS1 or 2 eggplants, about 1½ pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1 ½ pounds ground lean meat, preferably lamb although beef is acceptable
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup red wine
½ cup fresh or canned beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ¼ cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
5 or more tablespoons corn or olive oil
½ pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 ½ cups)
PREPARATION1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Trim off the ends of the eggplant. Cut the eggplant into 12 slices of equal width.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring until the onion is wilted. Add the meat and cook, chopping down with the edge of a heavy metal spoon to break up any lumps. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until the meat loses its raw look.
4. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, and 1 cup tomatoes and stir. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring with a wire whisk. Add the milk, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the egg yolk and remove from the heat.
6. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon corn oil in a large nonstick skillet and add enough eggplant slices to cover the bottom. Cook about 45 seconds on one side; turn the slices and continue cooking for about 45 seconds. Remove the slices and drain. Continue cooking the remaining eggplant in the same manner, adding a little more oil as necessary for each batch.
7. Arrange about a third of the eggplant slices in one layer in the bottom of a 2-½ quart baking dish. Spoon a third of the meat sauce over the eggplant slices. Continue making the layers in the same manner, ending with a layer of meat sauce. Spoon the tomato white sauce over all.
8. Sprinkle the cheese over all and place the dish in the oven. Bake 15 minutes. If desired, run the dish briefly under the broiler until the cheese is browned.
Yield: 6 servings