Moussaka (Lamb and Eggplant Casserole) – Appetizers

4 7 to 8″ eggplants, washed

1 tb Salt

2 tb Olive oil

2 lb Lean ground lamb

Vegetable oil 2/3 c Finely chopped onion

8 oz Sliced mushrooms, drained

1 ts Salt

1 ts Dried rosemary leaves

1/2 ts Dried thyme leaves

1 Clove garlic, peeled

-and crushed 2/3 c Beef stock or broth

1 1/2 ts Cornstarch

3 tb Tomato paste,

-(save remainder for sauce) 3 Eggs, slightly beaten

Tomato sauce for Moussaka -(recipe) 1. Remove green caps from eggplants and slice eggplants in half lengthwise.

Make deep slashes in eggplant pulp, but do not cut through skins. Sprinkle eggplant halves with the 1 tablespoon salt and allow to stand at room temperature 1/2 hour. 2. Squeeze moisture out of eggplant halves and brush cut sur- faces with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat 4 eggplant halves at a time in Microwave Oven 7 minutes or until pulp is tender. Repeat with remaining eggplant halves. 3. Scoop pulp out of eggplant, being careful not to rip skins. Set skins aside. Chop eggplant pulp coarsely. Place pulp in a medium-sized, heat-resistant, non-metallic bowl and heat, un- covered, in Microwave Oven 4 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally. 4. In a large heat-resistant, non-metallic bowl, crumble the lamb. Heat, uncovered, in Microwave Oven 5 minutes stirring frequently to break up pieces until meat is no longer pink. 5. Liberally oil a deep, 2-quart, heat-resistant, non-metallic cas-serole. Line casserole with the reserved eggplant skins. Arrange skins with the purple sides toward the outside and wide ends of eggplant skins at the top of the casserole. 6. Drain the lamb juices and discard. Add chopped eggplant, onion, mushrooms, the 1 teaspoon salt, thyme, rosemary and garlic to the cooked lamb. Stir to combine well. Heat, uncovered, in Microwave Oven 5 minutes or until onion is tender. 7. In a small heat-resistant, non-metallic bowl combine beef stock and cornstarch until smooth. Heat, uncovered, in Microwave Oven 1 minute or until thickened and clear; stir occasionally. 8. Add thickened beef stock with remaining ingredients, except tomato sauce, to lamb mixture. Pour lamb-eggplant mixture into eggplant-skin-lined casserole. 9. Fold eggplant skins over filling. Heat, covered with a plate, 9 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the mixture comes out clean. 10. Invert onto platter for serving. Serve with tomato sauce.






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