Turkey Moussaka

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I did, and boy was there a lot of eating and cooking. I’m hoping to share some more recipes soon, but I do apologize for my infrequent posts. Perhaps I should make it a goal for 2016… maybe. Let’s get to it, shall we?

I used to frequent going to a Greek restaurant when I was younger with my family. One of the dishes I’d always order would be a moussaka with a greek salad (or sometimes, substituted with fries).

I know that sounds like such a heavy dish (especially when I had fries with it), but I didn’t truly realize it at the time. At first, I didn’t even think the top layer was a béchamel sauce. It had the texture of mashed potatoes, but it was so good.

When I started to cook more, I realized it was actually an easier dish to make, and I decided to take a stab at it with some inspiration, and make my own, lightening it up by using ground turkey. The end result? It was delicious, and a few even asked for the recipe! Well, here it is 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed/minced
  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • breadcrumbs

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (fresh is better!)
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper

———

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and place them (stacked) in a large colander. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel. Lay eggplant onto 2 large baking trays, brush with oil and bake for 10 minutes or until just softened. Remove and set aside to cool.
Heat some oil in a skillet over medium high heat, then cook the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up the meat as you stir. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover, lower heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, using a whisk to incorporate. Add the milk slowly, whisking to combine until smooth. Cook until it thickens so that coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the stove and whisk in cheese. Temper with the eggs, and whisking to combine. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the moussaka by placing half the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish, and top with all the Filling. Top with remaining eggplant and pour over the béchamel sauce.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.
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