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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Moussaka

Updated: Dec 31, 2023


Moussaka

My ex-brother-in-law was a chef on the Onassis yacht, as well as the Fleishmann’s yacht. He honed his skills in the kitchens of the best restaurants in Paris and was an incredible chef. When he came to America, my ex-husband put him to work as the executive chef in several of his successful restaurants in New York. John was like Zorba the Greek. He was a big man who was full of life with loads of personality. And John absolutely loved the women! Lots of women. Oh, and not just any women – he loved BIG women – and when I say BIG women, I mean BIG women.


If one of his wives (and he had five incredibly young and beautiful wives that I knew of over the years) was a bit too svelte for his taste, he would feed them the most delicious food you can imagine in order to get them up to what he considered a “beautifully zaftig, sexy size.” For these young women, not only was John irresistible, but so was his impossibly delicious food. John loved them all and they all loved John. When he was dying, the nurses on his floor said that his hospital room was continuously filled with eleven of the most beautiful, big , young women, in tears, that they’d ever seen. That being said, here’s one of his classic Greek favorite recipes – Moussaka!

Moussaka

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: Greek

Serves: 6

PREP TIME

40 mins

COOK TIME

45 mins

TOTAL TIME

1 hour 25 mins

INGREDIENTS

Vegetables

5 eggplants (cut into ¼ inch slices)

3 russet potatoes ( large- cut into ¼ inch slices)

Salt

Canola or vegetable oil

Meat Sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 yellow onions (medium-sized/ chopped )

6 cloves fresh garlic (chopped finely)

1 lb. ground lamb

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 can whole peeled tomatoes (12 ounce)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup red wine

Bechamel Sauce

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup flour (unbleached)

2 ½ cups milk (lukewarm)

2 egg yolks

1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese

1 /2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400.

Vegetables:

  1. Season the slices of eggplant with a little salt and place in a colander for about 30 minutes.

  2. Rinse the eggplant slices well with water and pat dry with a paper towel. This will remove any excess water.

  3. Heat canola oil in a skillet and fry up the eggplant slices until tender, about 5 minutes.

  4. Place fried eggplant on some paper towel to remove excess oil.

  5. Now, fry up the potato slices in the skillet, working in batches. Cook ‘til tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer fried potatoes to a paper towel.

Meat Sauce:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in clean skillet. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.

  2. Add the ground meat and stir until browned.

  3. Add the cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf.

  4. Now, add the can of tomatoes and break up into meat mixture.

  5. Once it’s mixed, then add the red wine and let simmer until wine is evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.

  6. Set the meat sauce aside.

Bechamel Sauce:

  1. Heat the milk in a pot until warm, do not boil.

  2. Now, heat the butter in a new saucepan.

  3. Add flour and whisk constantly until pale and smooth, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the lukewarm milk in a steady stream until incorporated, about 10 minutes.

  5. Season with nutmeg.

  6. In another small bowl, whisk egg yolks and add a little of the warm sauce and whisk until incorporated,

  7. Then, add egg mixture to rest of sauce until smooth.

To Assemble:

  1. In a 9x12 baking dish, layer the potato slices, overlapping slightly and then top with a layer of half of eggplant slices.

  2. Cover this with the meat sauce.

  3. Then, top the meat sauce with the remaining eggplant slices.

  4. Sprinkle with some of the grated cheese, saving the rest of grated cheese for the top.

  5. Ladle the béchamel sauce over the top of the meat and vegetables, spreading evenly over the top. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese over the top of béchamel sauce.

  6. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until browned and bubbly.

  7. Let cool for 20 minutes and cut into squares and serve. OPA! And YUM!

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