And, as long as I'm wearing my sometimes food blogger hat I thought I'd post a recipe I've referred to at Kitchenography (thanks for asking!) and Eat and probably elsewhere too, the meatless Mushroom Moussaka from The New M--sewood Cookbook. While it may be against the law to publish this recipe here, Katzen would do better to chase down the Martha Stewart's Everyday Food staff, who routinely copy her recipes. Unless she's sold them to Everyday Food, in which case I say all's fair.
Without further ado, Mushroom Moose-aka.
1. Slice 3 medium eggplants into 1/4 inch rounds. Salt them and layer them in a colander, or between towels. Stand 20-30 min.
Meanwhile, start the mushroom sauce.
2. Cut 2 lbs mushrooms into quarters, at least, or smaller if that's your style. Heat 2 tbs olive oil your tomato sauce pot. Add 2 c onions and salt, and cook over med heat until the onions are translucent. Don't rush this. Add mushrooms and garlic, cover and cook 10 min or so.
3. Add 14-20 oz of tomato, some paste if you've got it, fresh if you want, whatever. Adjust your cook time accordingly.
4. Add 1 tsp or more cinnamon, black pepper to taste, 1 tsp each basil and oregano. Bring to a boil then simmer at least 15 minutes. The recipe calls for 1/2 c breadcrumbs and 1/2 c parm at this stage but I don't add bread unless I've got something sitting around that really wants to go in. And I usually throw in my parm rinds, which I keep for the purpose of making sauces. Do they teach you this on TV? Well, do it. Add 1 c packed fresh minced parsley.
Let the sauce cool and return to your sweaty eggplants. I wipe them now.
5. Lightly oil a baking sheet and pop your eggplant slices in the oven at 375 F for 20 minutes.
Now, for the not really Bechamel at all.
6. Fill your vintage 4 c Anchor Hocking measuring cup with 2 c milk and heat in the microwave. Or whatever.
7. Heat nice and hot 3 tbs olive oil in a small sauce pan.
8. Drop, one by one, stirring to a slurry, 6 tbs flour into the hot oil. Let it brown, let it stick a little, but don't let it burn. I've done this with a fork, or a whisk. You can turn down the heat as you go. When the flour paste is a nice dark yellowish tan, lift the sauce pan off the heat and cool it a moment.
9. Then pour in the milk, with the heat off, or low. Stir till smooth.
10. Keep the heat low and leave the sauce with 1/2 c feta or parm. Stir occassionally, don't let it scorch, wait for the cheese to melt and the whole thing should become smooth. I add a few whole cloves of garlic here, and a good pinch of nutmeg. And salt. All together now.
11. Put a double layer of eggplant in a casserole dish, or two, or whatever fits. Cover with mushroom sauce. Then a single layer of eggplant. Then the not-Bechamel.
Bake uncover'd in the 375 F oven for 30-45 minutes.
Making 2 sauces and cooking the shit out of the eggplants (why this dish works at all) can be a little athletic - you might get breathless but don't lose your concentration - it's part of the Pittsburgh winter triathalon, along with shoveling snow. Let me know if I've left out any details; I'm not very experienced at plotting this kind of thing. Good with green salad.
Categories: food, pittsburgh