Cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin swirl about you like an aromatic market in the sultry mediterranean sun. Your mouth waters...mmm, what is that heavenly smell? Dinner! A sumptuous Moussaka recipe with ingredients you can find in any kitchen.
Cut eggplant up into 1/4 inch slices, salt, place into strainer and weigh down for 15 minutes. (I don't actually strain them, but most people do).
Meat Layer: Saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsp of oil (I prefer olive). Add ground meat, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Brown meat while breaking up the clumps. Set aside.
Drizzle just enough (olive) oil to cover the bottom of a hot pan. Place eggplant slices in pan. Brown both sides of all the eggplant slices. They're thirsty little guys so you'll have add oil to pan as you go.
Cut boiled potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
Cream Sauce: In a sauce pan, on low heat, melt butter. Then add flour, stir until it has the consistency of cookie dough, don't let it brown.
Add milk, a bit at a time. (If you do it all at once you'll have clumps). You want a thick cream soup consistency.
Add cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cumin and salt. Stir until smooth and blended. Set aside.
Spread some cream sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Layer eggplant, meat, sauce, potaotes, meat, sauce, eggplant, sauce and grated cheese.
Bake 30 min at 450. I like to cover it with tin foil for the first 20 min and then take it off for the last ten so the cheese can get a bit brown.
Even more delightful after freezing and reheating.
NOTE: I add spices to taste. 1/4 tsp is a conservative start, go wild! Freshly grated spices give an added zing. I also add onion and garlic power when on hand. Also I use 3 parts veg oil and 1 part olive oil to get the taste but ease the cost.