The daily doodle today is eggplant. I have been lusting for a little Moussaka lately, and though The Mister is not this violet nightshade's biggest fan, I went ahead and labored through the late afternoon to make us a homemade version anyways, (like I said, I have a scratch to itch.) Lo and behold, I turned my man into a believer!
Moussaka: I used a very loose version of this recipe. I prefer Creme Fraiche over Béchamel - which removes quite a bit of work - and I use parmesan only on the top and then serve with extra at the table. Fresh grated parmesan only, please. Make it a new house rule. The nutmeg/cinnamon flavors are a must, and pumpkin pie spice will do just fine. I also substitute Beef for Lamb as it is in-season, add zucchini to liven it up, and a word to the rookies: as with any lasagna-style baked and layered casserole, Moussaka does not fit under the category of wham-bam-thank-you-ma-am.
Ingredients at their best in AUGUST include:
Get thee a grater. I have (forcibly) used our family's rape a fromage to grate enough parmesan for twenty plus people on regular occasions --- and 20-plus French cheese loving people no less! My family must have moved up in the cheese grating world, because this summer they sent me home with the above 'heirloom.'