Gary Makes Dinner: Mousaka. It’s National Men Make Dinner Day in the US. Who knew?! Gary, our Director of Organizational Development and CCTECC, makes dinner often. His food is amazing! I asked him to share one of his recipes and his thoughts about it.
When I moved into my apartment at International Christian Academy in Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire back in 1991, I found a cookbook. I have no idea of the title, but it was obviously a church cookbook because Dena Tounger, the creator of this recipe, was noted as having “worked as superintendent of the preschool department of the Sunday School”. Her recipe jumped out at me – Mousaka. I had never made this dish, but when I looked at the ingredient list, I realized with some creativity I could make it–even in West Africa. Consequently, it became a hit on campus. I share it with you in hopes that it will become a hit with your family and friends.
1 large eggplant
½ cup oil
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 pound ground beef
1 can (16 oz. can) herbed tomato sauce (or you can use plain tomato sauce and add a tsp of herbes de provence)
1 can (16 oz.) whole tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Dash of cinnamon (yes, you must add this or it’s not authentic!)
6 ounces of Munster cheese(I never could get Munster, so I used edam or gouda), grated
½ clove garlic crushed
Peel the eggplant and slice into ½ inch thick slices. Prick with fork; sprinkle lightly with salt and place on paper towels for 30 minutes. Heat ½ cup of oil in frying pan and brown the eggplant until tender. Place on paper towels to drain.
Fry onion in 2 tbsp oil until lightly brown. Add meat and saute for a few minutes until almost done. Add tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, and seasonings and cook a little longer.
To assemble, place thin layer of meat mixture in bottom of greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Over this place half of eggplant, then half of meat mixture. Spread all of the cheese and repeat process. Prepare cream topping (recipe below) and top the layered mixture with it. You may sprinkle the top with parsley flakes and paprika if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Let set 15 minutes before cutting to serve. Makes enough for 8. Bon appetite!!
1/3 cup butter
1/’3 cup flour
1 ½ cup milk
¾ cup parmesan cheese grated
To make topping, brown the flour in butter. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to bubble, add 3 beaten eggs gradually and then the cheese. Cook until thick.