In my early 20’s I lived in the Washington, DC area. It such a culturally diversified city and I had acquaintances from many ethnic backgrounds. A mother of an Armenian friend of mine used to make this dish for us when we would visit. Whenever eggplant is in season I remember this recipe. It is very easy to make and there is enough for leftovers for lunch the next day. Today’s recipe is dedicated to all my friends in DC…we had a wild time back in the day! Thanks for always welcoming me into your homes!
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Large Eggplant – cut into ½ inch slices
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
½ Onion – chopped
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Can Chicken Broth
Garlic Salt (season to taste, meaning put as much as you like)
Salt and Pepper (season to taste)
Small Container of Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream
1 Cup White Rice
Another Can of Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Chicken Consume (known as bouillon to some)
In large frying pan, brown the ground beef with chopped onion. As you cook, season with garlic salt and pepper. When done, remove from pan, draining fat. Set to side. Add enough olive oil to coat pan. Layer half of the sliced eggplant on bottom of the pan. Layer ground beef mixture on top. Evenly pour diced tomatoes over ground beef. Season again with garlic salt and a few dashes of Italian seasoning. Layer rest of eggplant on top of tomatoes. Season once more with a little salt, pepper and dashes of paprika. Put a small dab of butter on top of each eggplant slice. Pour about ½ can of chicken broth around edges so runs to the bottom (do not pour directly over eggplant). Cover and cook at low simmer for 30-40 minutes. Check it once in awhile to see if you need to add more broth. You want it to stay moist so that all the flavors combine and there should be a little broth on bottom when done.
Meanwhile in a small pot, sauté the white rice in a little bit of olive oil and butter on medium heat. When rice appears slightly toasty, add 2 cups of chicken broth (about a can, just add water to make up the difference). Stir in the chicken consume. Place on high until it comes to a boil. When rice starts boiling, lower to simmer (on my stove it is the low setting) and cover. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Check for doneness. Sometimes it needs another 5 minutes in which case I put the cover back on, turn off the heat, and just let it sit till done and I am ready to eat.
The ground beef and eggplant mixture (the moussaka) is done when the eggplant is tender yet firm enough to hold its shape. To serve, place a serving of rice on plate and put a serving of moussaka with broth on top of rice. Place a dollop of yogurt on top. I am not a yogurt fan so I either put sour cream or nothing at all. That is about it…all you have to do is eat. The flavors of all the ingredients blend nicely creating a wonderful dish. I know you will enjoy it!
Ideas for sides:
Side Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Warm French Bread or Baguette
καλή όρεξη – meaning “Enjoy your meal!”