Monday, January 16, 2006

I made moussaka and a potato casserole this weekend. The moussaka was more or less from a Joy of Cooking recipe. We also bought a Microplane box grater and a rabbit-ear pepper grinder! I'm pleased with both.

It was a diner-y weekend:
Friday: we ate hash browns and eggs at Carrows and watched the Shawshank Redemption at home.
Saturday: we ate hash browns and eggs at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. In the evening,we saw Russell Peters with Atsushi, Jameel, and John An. We ate at Lori's Diner afterwards and I had hash browns yet again.
Sunday: We went to Trader Joe's and I bought Jak and Daxter and We Love Katamari. I played We Love Katamari and cooked.

2 large eggplants
1 large russet potato, peeled
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 container extra-firm tofu, frozen
1 handful golden raisins
Chopped fresh ginger
Red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh oregano
Fresh parsley
Yogurt bechamel (see recipe below)

Defrost the tofu in a pan of hot water. To make it defrost faster, crumble it into a strainer once it's no longer rock-hard and continue soaking in changes of water. It should have a nice, firm, spongy feel to it.

Fry the potatoes and eggplant until brown; grill other eggplant slices in another pan (I used my cast-iron grill pan on high heat).

Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil in a pan with a dab of fresh ginger. Add the crumbled tofu and raisins. Season with the dried spices. Add the tomato sauce and the balsamic vinegar, mirin, and sugar. Stir in the fresh herbs/greens.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a casserole and layer in the potatoes and a layer of eggplant. Pour the tomato sauce on top. Layer in more eggplant and tomato sauce. Top with the yogurt bechamel.

Bake for one hour. The bechamel should be browned and bubbly.

Yogurt bechamel: (my ingredients/recipe ingredients)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (1%/full fat)
1 cup yogurt (nonfat/full fat)
2/3 cup grated cheese (mozzarella/Gruyere)

Potato casserole:
I made this to use up the rest of the yogurt bechamel sauce.
2 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
About 8 shallots, sliced
5 or 6 stems Parsley, chopped
5 or 6 leaves of sage, snipped

Oil the pan and layer into it: potatoes, mozzarella cheese, herbs, shallots, and spices. Pour the bechamel over. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour.

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