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31 December 2009 @ 11:16 am
Tapati's Moussaka  
Tapati’s Moussaka



Olive oil for frying and brushing on vegetables
2 medium eggplants
3 zucchinis (medium sized)
2 large russet potatoes, sliced in thin rounds
¼ cup chopped. parsley
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Tomato sauce:

2 cans (15. oz) tomato sauce or 1 can sauce + 1 can drained diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup Morningstar farm crumbles or other ground burger substitute (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots or ½ onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp paprika
½ to 1 tsp cinnamon (start low and add gradually, tasting)
1 pinch allspice
salt and black pepper to taste
This sauce can be used for pizza or lasagna if you like and if you have some left over.

Béchamel sauce:

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups hot milk
¾ cup cottage cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cut ends off eggplants. Slice thinly (no larger than 1/2" thick). You can choose to slice along the length or across the width. If you choose lengthwise (fits in pan best) cut off a small slice on one side to form a flat surface to rest the eggplant on. Slice the zucchini lengthwise. Lightly oil 3 cookie sheets. Place eggplant and zucchini slices on pans in single layer. Brush tops with oil. Bake at 400º F. until slices are soft and lightly
browned, about 15 minutes.

Gently sauté potato slices in olive oil, moving to a wire rack when done or place on paper towels.

Make tomato sauce: heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 2 qt. saucepan. Sauté shallot or onion for a few minutes, add garlic, stir for a moment and then add tomato sauce, "crumbles" and spices, tasting as you add them and adjust as needed. Simmer until crumbles are thawed. Set aside.

Lightly oil 9x11" baking dish. Place 1/2 of eggplant slices in bottom. Top
with tomato sauce to cover, parsley, walnuts and cheese. Add remaining eggplant slices, then add more tomato sauce and cheese. Add zucchini slices. Top with remaining tomato sauce and cheese. Add potato slices last, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes before adding white sauce(as below).

Prepare white sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and cook,
stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Take off heat. Add hot milk all at
once, stirring with wire whisk. Return to heat and cook, whisking, until
sauce thickens. Off heat, temper eggs by whisking in a little of the sauce before adding the eggs to the sauce. First add cottage cheese to the sauce, then the parmesan, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, then add the eggs. Whisk thoroughly.

Reduce oven to 350º F. Bake covered with foil for about 20 minutes, then add white sauce on top and discard cover. (You can make white sauce while this is baking.) Bake for 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Shortcuts: omit some vegetables if you like, and you can add the white sauce at the beginning. I just found the texture to be better if it was added halfway through. You could omit white sauce and top with more mozzarella and add some grated parmesan on top. This is fairly forgiving of alterations!