Eggplant for Moussaka

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by ski break, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. ski break

    ski break

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    Hi..

    Have made Moussaka a few times and keep trying different ways frying/roasting the eggplant so it doesn't come out "mooshy" with little luck. I don;t do bread crumbs or panko either (or should I). I cut the pieces max 1/4 " and have fried in grapeseed oil FYI..still not crazy about the outcome...any suggestions or hints.

    Thanks

    SB
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Breading? Panko? Noooo.... at least I've never seen those used for Moussaka. What's wrong with mushy eggplant? What you call mushy I call melt-in-your-mouth. But if you want them less tender, try reducing the frying time (remember they'll continue cooking in the oven) and/or cutting them a bit thicker? Or is your heat too low and you're literally sweating/melting them rather than frying them?

    We have at least one Greek member on this forum so hopefully she'll join in on this discussion.

    PS: I LOVE moussaka. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  3. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Aubergine should not be breadcrumbed for moussaka!
     
  4. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Typically the only time you bread eggplants is if you making eggplants parmesan. For moussaka I typically slice then salt. Rinse them after an hour then fry them in olive oil.
     
  5. chefross

    chefross

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    Eggplant will absorb oil so it may the problem you call "mushy."

    I either grill the slices only using a pan release spray as the "oil" or bake the slices partially before preparing the moussaka.
     
  6. ski break

    ski break

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    Thanks everyone..I do the salting for an hour routine but still..in any event..it's great foodies!!

     a bientot et merci

    SB
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Perhaps the salting is making your eggplant mushy?  I don't salt my eggplant so I can't say that's it for sure.

    Breadcrumbs or panko are not traditionally used in moussaka but that doesn't mean you can't try it.  My guess is that you would get a goopy mess this way as the dish releases a lot of moisture but who knows, it might work.

    I don't fry any of the ingredients in my moussaka, instead I brush the eggplant slices with olive oil, OLIVE OIL for greek food!!  Then I lay them on cookie sheets and roast till desired tenderness - which for me IS mushy but you can do it less.  At this point I also use zucchini in addition to the eggplant.  It adds a nice flavor and a wonderful texture which sounds like what you're looking for.

    The most important thing in the moussaka is the potatoes.  I know many recipes call for the potatoes to be fried before they're layered into the dish but I put mine in completely raw.  Just lightly oil your casserole dish with olive oil and then lay down the raw potato slices.  Sprinkle with salt before layering in the other ingredients.  The potatoes act like a sponge to absorb all the oil and moisture of the other ingredients.  As you can imagine the potatoes turn out to be the tastiest part of the dish.

    I never tire of eating or discussing moussaka.
     
  8. bughut

    bughut

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    Surely no-one expects your aubergine to be firm...Mushy is par for the course... There are varying degrees however.

    Flavour is the thing...When you bite into that layer you want griddled, slightly charred and the gorgeous olive oil it was cooked in.

    So I would advocate drizzling the aubergine slices in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt... Wouldnt normally advocate extra virgin for high temp cooking,but this is different...It'll give you the char and the flavour. give it 1 minute on a griddle pan then move it 45 degrees for a minute.Turn it over and repeat. This way you get maximum char and its not too well cooked before it goes into the moussaka

    Just make sure you're pan's been on a medium/high heat for a while so it doesnt cool down when you put the aubergine in