Recipe For The Week 6/4/16
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Here is a wonderful traditional Greek recipe that uses fresh eggplant, spices and herbs to create a dish that is sure to please -even those who do not like eggplant. This recipe is usually made with ground beef or ground lamb, but ground turkey can also be used for the meat. The Greek Blend is used here to add that Mediterranean flavor to the meat and it really works so well. Don't forget the small amount of nutmeg in the cheese sauce for the topping - it makes a big difference to the taste. A superb dish that is full of flavor!
For The Meat and Eggplant Base-
2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
Olive Oil (to taste)
Seasoning Salt Blend (to taste)
1 lb ground beef or lamb or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tblspns minced garlic
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp True Cinnamon
1/2 Tblspn Greek Blend
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
For The Cheese Sauce Topping -
3 Tblspns butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tblspns flour
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Brush both sides of the sliced eggplant with olive oil and then sprinkle the slices with the Seasoning Salt Blend. Place the prepared eggplant slices on a greased cookie sheet. Bake the slices in a 400 degree oven until they are soft (about 5 -10 minutes). Place half of the baked eggplant slices in the bottom of the greased pan. Set aside the other half of the slices. In a skillet combine the meat and onion and cook until the meat is done. Drain the pan. Add the garlic, tomato sauce, spices, salt and pepper and combine. Pour the meat mixture over the sliced eggplant in the pan. Layer the other half of the sliced eggplant over the meat.
Prepare the Cheese Sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour, 1/2 tsp salt/pepper, and the nutmeg. Gradually stir in the half and half and cook over medium heat (stirring constantly) until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
In a small bowl beat the egg, and then stir in a small amount of the cooked butter sauce. Then, add the egg to the rest of the sauce and mix well. Fold in the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Pour the cheese sauce over the eggplant in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.