Monday, February 12, 2007

The Attack of the Giant Moussaka

I just learned that that is the title of an actual film!

Er, "film."

I was determined to cook a dish that was really involved. I knew that making moussaka was going to take a good chunk of my day to prepare (although I wasn't expecting it to take 6 hours). Everything was going so well at first. I made the tomato/lamb sauce (although I used ground beef), I made my first bechamel sauce (which came out perfectly), and I cut two eggplants and two potatoes into lovely, consistent 1/4" slices.

Two eggplants and two potatoes cut into thin slices make for a whole lot of slices, all of which were supposed to be fried in olive oil for about three minutes per side. First of all, I could only fit three slices of eggplant at a time into my skillet. Secondly, olive oil has a very low smoke-point - holy, smoke! And lastly, eggplant is like a sponge. As soon as it hit the olive oil, it just soaked it up. All of it. So, I "fried" three slices of eggplant, realized I was going to be standing next to a smokey stove for about 10 hours if I were to continue with this method, and decided to abort the "EVOO" frying. I heated, instead, my 2-burner grill pan, brushed the eggplant slices with olive oil and grilled them. I did the same with the potatoes (which were pretty tasty on their own!). Worked like a charm.

I was hoping to LOVE the resulting layered Mediterranean lasagna-y dinner, but I didn't. So, I won't be making it again UNLESS it has transformed into something unbelievable in the fridge overnight, as these casserole-type things often do.

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