Moussaka, domesticated

Okay, this is a completely innovative meatless, eggplant-based side dish inspired by the Greek moussaka; it is much simpler than Moussaka, with far fewer ingredients. I have worked on the recipe several times and am quite proud of the result.  Here we go.

 Ingredients (Serving 4-5): 1½ kg eggplant, peeled. 1 kg tomatoes. 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced. 4-5 cloves of Garlic, minced. 250 gr, Mozzarella  cheese, grated. 1-2 tbsp. tomato-based hot sauce (see below). 1 teaspoon turmeric. Salt and cooking oil as needed.

Method: Cut your peeled eggplants in to about 5 cm thick slices, place them in a colander, salt them liberally and let them be for at least an hour. Rinse and dry thoroughly with paper towel.  Line one baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Grease with two tbsp. of oil. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place eggplant slices on the foil and cook for an hour, turning them over once half way during the cooking (add more oil if necessary but not too much; the idea is to avoid using too much oil by avoiding frying the eggplant)

Meanwhile, prepare the fried onion: In a large pan, heat one tbsp. of oil and sauté the thinly sliced onions over medium heat till they turn transparent. Add minced garlic and turmeric and continue frying for another minute. Remove from the heat.

Skin tomatoes by the convenient technique, which I guess you already know how? I love it when I need to do this! Just remove the steam and sticker of the tomatoes and place them in a bowl; bring water to a boil and cover the tomatoes with the boiled water. The skin will peel off within a minute.  Pour off the water. Cut each tomato in to four slices and sprinkle some salt.

Once the eggplants are golden and almost cooked, add them to the onion/garlic pot along with the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and cook with closed lid for half an hour, or until the content is soft and easy to be smashed. Using a potato masher, smash the pot’s content enough to get a homogenous mix.

Add two tbsp. of any tomato based hot sauce: The Mexican cooking sauce that comes in the package with Fajita or Taco will go perfectly fine with this dish; so does Sriracha sauce made from chili pepper.  Simmer an additional ten minute for the tastes to settle. At this stage your “domesticated moussaka” should be only slightly runny.

Pour into an oven safe dish, leaving a 2 cm edge.  Top it with grated chesses and place it in the warm oven for five minutes.

It is ready to be served.

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