I had planned on making some sort of lamb chop something'er other but then I stumbled upon Martha's quick lamb recipes after a Google search and this one stood out to me. It sort of feels like I cheated using ground lamb, however, I'm really glad I discovered this dish. It's basically a marriage of two awesomes: the meat mixture is sooo good after all the spices have been added and it simmers together. I could eat it out of the pan. Then you add the ricotta/feta cheese mixture and suddenly there's an event happening in your mouth!
I've posted Martha's original recipe but as for my modifications: I ended up using more feta, almost double. And I used a half less onion. And since I love to just grab and throw minced garlic out of a jar; pretty sure I used double or triple the original amount. Other than that, I stuck to this recipe and it was almost perfect.
Okay, before this gets any weirder, here she is:
Martha's (Quick) Moussaka!
Butter, for baking dish
1 large eggplant (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
7 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (9 ounces) ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 4-quart ovenproof dish. On a baking sheet, toss eggplant with 6 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer, and roast in the oven until soft and golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer eggplant to prepared dish, spreading in an even layer.
In a large saucepan, warm remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat; cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until meat is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, crushing tomatoes with the edge of a spoon, 15 minutes. Spread the mixture evenly over the eggplant.
Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, feta, egg, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over the casserole, and spread evenly to the edges. Broil until topping is browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
|I'm tempted to make the meat mixture again and try it over noodles or rice next time.|
|This guy had three helpings! Yet, note the bottle of Crystal hot sauce next to his bowl...|