Eggplant Wrapped Moussaka
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Eggplant Wrapped Moussaka

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (with skins)
  • 1 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned beef broth or homemade beef stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 acorn squash (about 1 pound) halved, seeded, and cooked until soft
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup minted yogurt sauce

Instructions

6 to 8 portions. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets and a 10-inch round, 2-inch deep casserole (preferably glass). Combine the cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne in a small bowl. Mix well. Pour the milk into another shallow bowl. Dip each eggplant slice first in the milk, letting any excess drip off, and then in the flour mixture, pressing lightly so it is evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour, and arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until soft, 30 minutes (there may still be traces of flour on the eggplant). Remove the eggplant but leave the oven on. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onion and almonds, and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and the almonds are toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lamb, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the lamb, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 10 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Stir the remaining spice mixture into the meat, and cook 1 minute. Then stir in the tomatoes, stock, apricots, currants, and mint. Scoop the squash into the mixture in chunks. Stir in the rice, lemon juice, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the skillet from the heat. Arrange a layer of cooked eggplant on the bottom and up the sides of the prepared casserole. Fill with the lamb mixture, and top with the remaining eggplant. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to stand, still covered, for 15 minutes. Then uncover, and invert the moussaka onto a serving platter. Cut it into wedges, and serve with the Minted Yogurt Sauce. Minted Yogurt Sauce Yield: 1-1/2 cups 1 1/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until ready.

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