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Layered Greek casserole with grilled vegetables and savoury meat sauce.
Moussaka is really several recipes in one, and is best broken down into steps:
1. Make the meat sauce (you can do this one day in advance),
2. Prepare the vegetables,
3. Make the white sauce, or in this case, cheese sauce,
4. Layer the Casserole,
Per serving: 416 calories, 16 g total fat (7.6 g saturated fat), 31 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 133 mg cholesterol, 613 mg sodium
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) extra-lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
2 medium red-skinned potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (14 oz/380 mL) 2% evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz/57 g)
1 cup light ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add beef. Cook until beef is no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces as meat cooks.
Drain excess fat (if necessary). Stir in cinnamon, chili powder and nutmeg and cook 1 more minute. Add crushed tomatoes, broth, oregano, mint, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Simmer gently over low heat, uncovered, while you prepare the vegetables. Donít forget to occasionally stir the sauce!
Heat gas grill to high heat. Trim ends from eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch thick round slices. Youíll need about 12 slices total. Trim ends from zucchini and cut in half crosswise. Cut each half into 4 or 5 long slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Brush eggplant and zucchini slices lightly with olive oil and place on grill. Cook until tender with nice grill marks, turning halfway through cooking time. Set aside until ready to use.
Scrub the potatoes (do not peel) and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Steam in steamer basket for about 12 minutes, or until just tender but not too soft. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
Make the cheese sauce when all other steps are completed and youíre just about ready to assemble the moussaka.
Whisk together milk, flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese melts. Stir in ricotta cheese until smooth. Whisk in beaten eggs.
Preheat oven to 375ļ F. To assemble moussaka, spray a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
Arrange cooked potato slices over bottom of pan, overlapping if necessary. Spread half the meat sauce over potatoes.
Top meat sauce with 1/2 cup crumbled light feta cheese. Arrange zucchini slices over feta, followed by eggplant slices. Top eggplant with remaining meat sauce. Pour cheese sauce over all.
Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. Moussaka tastes better when itís served warm and not piping hot! Plus, you need the long cooling time so that it holds together better.