Welcome! Login | Register
 

Construction in Worcester - Week of October 15, 2018—Construction in Worcester - Week of October 15,…

Red Sox Beat Houston 7-5 in Game 2, Tie ALCS 1-1—Red Sox Beat Houston 7-5 in Game 2,…

Smart Benefits: The Role of Analytics in Employee Benefits—Smart Benefits: The Role of Analytics in Employee…

Gostkowski’s Field Goal Lifts Patriots Over Chiefs 43-40—Gostkowski's Field Goal Lifts Patriots Over Chiefs 43-40

Of Political Odds and Ends—The Sunday Political Brunch October 14, 2018—Of Political Odds and Ends -- The Sunday…

What to Watch For: Chiefs vs Patriots—What to Watch For: Chiefs vs Patriots

Red Sox Fall to Astros 7-2 in Game 1 of ALCS—Red Sox Fall to Astros 7-2 in Game…

Revolution Eliminated From Playoff Contention Despite 2-0 Win Over Orlando City—Revolution Eliminated From Playoff Contention Despite 2-0 Win…

24 Ways to Go Green in Worcester This Fall—24 Ways to Go Green in Worcester This…

VIDEO: A-Rod Wears Red Sox Uniform After Losing Bet to Ortiz—VIDEO: A-Rod Wears Red Sox Uniform After Losing…

 
 

Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Moussaka

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

 

Moussaka is a layered oven casserole dish made with vegetables and meat. The most well-known version of moussaka is made with layers of eggplant slices, cheese, and a meat sauce, topped with a thick béchamel sauce; however, other favorites call for potatoes, zucchini, or a combination of vegetables.

Serve 6-8

Ingredients

 

For the Vegetables:

3 to 4 eggplants, about 4 pounds

Salt

1 pound potatoes

Olive oil for greasing baking sheets

8 large egg whites (lightly beaten), the yolks will be used for the béchamel

2 cups plain breadcrumbs

Meat Filling:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or lamb

2 large onions (finely diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

For the Béchamel Sauce:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups milk (warmed)

8 large egg yolks (lightly beaten)

Pinch of ground nutmeg

For the Assembly:

Breadcrumbs for bottom of pan

1 cup Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese (grated)

 

Directions

Prepare the Vegetables

Using a sharp peeler, partially peel the eggplants, leaving strips of peel about 1-inch wide around the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices.

Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally. Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar. Place the colander in the sink and let it sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes, preferably 1 hour.

Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done, about 10 minutes. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch. Drain, cool, and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly grease with oil. Add a splash of water to the egg whites and beat them lightly with a fork. Place breadcrumbs on a flat plate.

Rinse the eggplant slices and dry with paper towels. Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg whites and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides. Place breaded eggplant slices on the foil-lined baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes, turning them over once during cooking.

When eggplant is finished cooking, lower the oven temperature to 350 F.

Make the Meat Filling

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef until the pink color disappears. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add wine to the pan and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar.

Allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. It should be a drier, chunkier tomato sauce. Adjust flavors to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the Béchamel Sauce

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour to melted butter, whisking continuously to make a smooth paste. Let the flour cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.

Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in beaten egg yolks and pinch of nutmeg. Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens. Set aside.

Assemble the Moussaka

Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (a lasagna pan works perfectly). Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with breadcrumbs.

Leaving a 1/4-inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Top with a layer of eggplant slices.

Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese. Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Pour the béchamel sauce over all, being sure to allow the sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan. Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: You can make this dish ahead but stop before making the béchamel sauce and refrigerate. Cook the béchamel sauce right before you intend to bake it.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Things You Must Do In Worcester Before You Die

Prev Next

#10

Catch a Film at the Elm Draught House

Okay. You caught us. The Elm Draught House isn't in Worcester. It's in Millbury. A stone's throw away though!

If you haven't been to this place, you're missing out. They serve food, beer and wine during the movies. All the movies are second-run, so if you miss it in the big theaters, you can always catch a few here. Or if you're like us, you just wait for them to get to this place so you can drink a beer and watch a good movie.

The theater opened sometime in the late 1930s-early 1940s.

Best part? It's only $5. And the pizza is pretty good.

Where: 35 Elm Court, Millbury

Elm Draught House

Prev Next

#9

Have a Solid Breakfast at Miss Worcester

Earlier this spring, Buzzfeed.com named the Miss Worcester Diner the #1 Diner in America to eat at before you die. 

And it's #9 on our list of anything you can do in Worcester...so you do the math.

Miss Worcester opened in 1948 and was built by the Worcester Lunch Car Company. In 2003, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

And that's all well and good, but the best part is the food and the service. Just all around excellent. You'll be eating in history.

Where: 300 Southbridge Street, Worcester

Miss Worcester Diner

Image: "Miss worcester" by Improbcat - Own work

Prev Next

#8

Eat a Regatta Sandwich from the Regatta Deli at the Regatta Races

A Worcester classic. If you plan on catching the Regatta Races this summer on Lake Quinsigamond, plan on working up an appetite. Lucky for you, right across the street is the Regatta Deli where they serve their famous Regatta Italian grinders.

Where: 28 Lake Avenue, Worcester

Regatta Deli

Prev Next

#7

Walk/Jog/Hike (Skip?) Through the Bird Sanctuary 

You probably didn't know this (or maybe you did), but there are some great walking and hiking paths behind the Audubon Society on Massasoit Road in Worcester.

Want to be at peace and escape the city without really leaving the city? Take a brisk walk through the Bird Sanctuary. If you don't feel better by the time you leave there...then turn around and go back in.

Where: 414 Massasoit Road, Worcester

Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook 

Prev Next

#6

Have Pizza at the Wonder Bar

Granted it's not open yet. But it will be! And when it does re-open under new ownership of the Prizio family (Regatta Deli), they swear it will have the same famous pizza as before.

You may want to get in line outside the door now because that place is going to be crazy packed when it's ready.

The Wonder Bar is one of GoLocalWorcester's 15 to Watch in 2015, and we are watching...and we are hungry.

Where: 121 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

The Wonder Bar

Prev Next

#5

Have a Beer at Moynagh's, the Cosmopolitan, and Moynihan's

These are the three oldest bars in the city - the oldest is Moynagh's - and they all opened in the early 1930s. They're neighborhood bars with the best clientele.

At the very least, go in and have a beer or a drink. That way you can tell everyone you know that you've been to the oldest bars in the city - and in no way is that depressing.

Head on down to Moynagh's on Saturday nights and see the Birdman. Tell em' GoLocal sent you.

Where: Moynagh's Tavern - 25 Exchange Street, Worcester

The Cosmpolitan - 96 Hamilton Street, Worcester

Moynihan's Pub - 897 Main Street, Worcester

Prev Next

#4

Catch a Concert - Any Concert - At Ralph's Chadwick Square Rock Diner

Someone recently told us that they went to Ralph's for the first time ever in their life. And they had a great time. And they're in their 50s. 

They told us, "We can't wait to go back. We don't care when."

And that's usually the response Ralph's always get. You will have fun and you will be having fun in a Worcester landmark. And they rock as hard as anyone in the city.

Where: 148 Grove Street, Worcester

Ralph's Rock Diner

Prev Next

#3

Enjoy a Sunset at Grill on the Hill at Green Hill Golf Course

Like everyone that's ever been there says, "It's like you're not even in Worcester." And when it comes to the sunset, that's a great thing. Easily the best sunset in Worcester - having a restaurant with a great deck and good food and drinks make it even better. 

Also, great place to watch the Worcester Fireworks from.

Where: 1929 Skyline Drive, Worcester

Grill on the Hill

Prev Next

#2

Have 2 Coney Island Dogs with the Works

We're being generous here. No one can eat just two...right? And there's no better way truly experience Worcester than to have your hot dogs smothered in yellow mustard, chili sauce and chopped onions.

Where: 158 Southbridge Street, Worcester

George's Coney Island Hot Dogs

Prev Next

#1

Take a Tour of the Speakeasy in the Cellar of Hotel Vernon

There are some catches to this. First, someone has to be there to give the tour. Second, that someone has to be willing to give the tour. Third, it can't be busy - so go during the afternoon.

It's one of the coolest, must-see experiences you'll find in Worcester. Babe Ruth used to drink in the speakeasy in the cellar. There's a secret back door, a dumbwaiter and a bar.

Where: 16 Kelley Square, Worcester

Hotel Vernon and the Ship Room

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox