Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lentil Moussaka

It would appear that I'm officially in the dog house.  Why you may ask?  Well favourite son in law has been cooking up a storm over the past while and I've become the designated blogger for his creations.  "R" has been "gently" reminding me that he's not seeing enough blogging happening.  He's right - we've been either busy for real or procrastinating.  At least Psychgrad has an excuse - between sleep deprivation, a toddler and a newborn, having a shower is a luxury.  

This time when "R" gave me one of his "gentle" reminders, the tone had changed somewhat.  He compared my not posting his cooking to continuously withdrawing from your bank account.  Eventually you're in the red.  Ugh!!!

With Christmas around the corner and Hanukkah in full swing, one might think that we'd be making lavish meals and incredible desserts.   Not so much.  Truth be told, I'd rather have a vegetarian moussaka than cheesecake anyway.   This dish is the full Canada Food Guide all in one dish.  Although a tad time consuming, the result is just so satisfying that it pays to take your time enjoying it.

*** Did I mention that "R" couldn't remember where he got the recipe from so if we've insulted anyone by not giving them credit for their recipe - my humble apologies,

3/4 cup whole green lentils
1 eggplant sliced
4-5 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced
4 sticks celery, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tsp soya sauce
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium potatoes, cooked and sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced


2 Tbsp vegetable margarine
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 egg, separated
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
fresh herb sprigs to garnish

  • In a saucepan, cook the lentils until soft but not mushy.  Drain reserving the liquid in a separate bowl.
  • Fry the eggplant until lightly browned, drain on a paper towel
  • Saute the onion, garlic, carrot and celery with a little of the lentil liquid.
  • Simmer with the lid on , stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften.
  • Add lentils, herbs and diced tomatoes simmering for 4-5 minutes.  Add the soya sauce and ground pepper.
  • Place a layer of the lentils in a large casserole dish and cover with half of the eggplant.
  • Cover the eggplant with half the potato slices and all of the tomato slices,
  • Repeat with the rest of the lentils and the other half of both eggplant and potatoes.

For the sauce:

  • Melt margarine and add flour.  Lift the pan from the heat stirring vigorously to create a roux while making sure the flour is well incorporated.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to make sure you achieve a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to add the egg yolk and nutmeg.  If you don't cool the sauce, you'll have cooked egg - not pretty.
  • Whisk the egg white until still and fold into the sauce.
  • Pour the sauce over the moussaka covering the whole surface.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.   Garnish with herbs and serve.

Chef's notes:
Don't overcook the potatoes otherwise they'll just fall apart.
Use a large enough casserole that's reasonably deep to avoid spill overs


1 comment:

That Girl said...

Holiday craziness is an excuse for anyone being in the red.