Homemade Moussaka

ann_tAugust 6, 2014

Satisfying a craving.

I made a Moussaka for last night's dinner. I can't remember the last time we had Moussaka. But it has been a while.

While the meat simmered I fried potatoes and eggplant slices.

Topped with Bechamel sauce.
Just out of the oven.

Served with a Greek Salad

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Mouth watering. I love Greek dishes but husband isn't a fan of it and the restaurants in my small community don't know how to do it right. I need to drive to Tarpon Springs.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:16PM
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I love Moussaka and frequently order it when I go to a Greek restaurant, but the bechamel sauce upsets my stomach because it has milk in it. I would like to make a version of it that DB and I could both eat, but that would rule out lamb, beef, and bechamel. I think I could make it with ground turkey and use a veloute sauce instead of bechamel, which is the substitution I usually make. The Greek cheese does not bother me, but the milk does. I suppose I could use goat's milk...

The good thing is that there are several decent Greek restaurants here, and one is 10 minutes from my house. I had better Greek food in Vancouver and Houston, however. We have better Lebanese food here than Greek, and I like both. It seems that Lebanese and Greek restaurants are somewhat difficult to find, other than in major port cities, since the Greeks and Phoenicians are known for being sailors - at least that's what a Lebanese person told me.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Ann_t, you have successfully convinced me to eat more Greek food.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:25PM
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I love moussaka but I've never put potatoes in it -- only eggplant.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:41PM
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I've never tried it with potatoes either. I must give it a try. I like it with dry grilled slices of aubergine. It's very light that way. Not forgetting the touch of cinnamon for the authentic taste.
Ooooo - you've made me want to cook that tonight!
Do you put an egg in the white sauce to make it puffy? I love that.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:23AM
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Potatoes are very traditional in moussaka. I don't think that I've ever had Moussaka without potatoes.

Islay, yes there are three egg yolks in the Bechamel.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:54AM
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I've only made it with eggplant too; the potato version is something I will definitely try, thanks AnnT.

Rita, You had better let me know if you go to Tarpon Springs, just a short drive for me.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:59AM
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Potatoes threw me for a loop, too, so I had to look it up. According to wiki (FWIW, or not):

Most Greek versions are eggplant. Variations may include potato, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Balkans swap potatoes for the eggplant, but there are other differences as well. They actually discuss several variations and regions, so I've linked the article in case anyone's interested.

Hopefully Sue (shambo) will see this thread and weigh in.

Regardless, Ann's looks great and now I'm hungry for moussaka. If I decide to make it myself I will give it a try with a layer of potato.

Here is a link that might be useful: wiki

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I thought it always had a layer of potato. I do not remember having it without potato, but perhaps I have had it that way. When I make it, I will put in a layer of potato. I have a good Greek (or Greek American) cookbook that I bought on Yoli's recommendation when she gave us a class on phyllo.

I will omit the cinnamon, even though it is traditional, simply because I do not like it. I omit nutmeg in a lot of Italian and French recipes also because it ruins the flavors for me. I especially do not like nutmeg with spinach. I will use small amounts of cinnamon in Indian dishes, but I reduce it quite a bit. A tiny amount of cinnamon and nutmeg go a very long way for me. I think I may be overly sensitive to them. Kevin, OTOH, sometimes cannot detect them and cannot smell the orchids we have blooming at the moment, even though the fragrance fills the room for me.


This post was edited by publickman on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 15:58

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Well if Lars agrees with Ann, then she must not be crazy, LOL! ;-)

So I just searched again, and as I typed "does moussaka have..." before I could finish typing "have" the popup suggestion was "does moussaka have potatoes in it." Clicked that, and there was no shortage of discussion about it, and recipes that include potatoes.

Now I'm wondering if I've really never had it with potatoes, or if I have but didn't happen to notice it mixed in with the other layers.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:35PM
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Lars, as I mentioned above, I've never had it without potatoes and I've eaten in some very authentic Greek restaurants over the years. Toronto has a large Greek population and an area called Greek Town. Great restaurants.
A girl that follows me on FB posted that she always uses the recipe that I use because it closely resembles her Greek grandmother's recipe.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Well, like some others here,
I've never had it with potatoes, either.
And the recipe I use is Eggplant only.
So, also like some others, I had to Google
to see what came up.
And I got a really (surprisingly to me)
wide variety of recipes!
I think he majority of those I actually looked at
Were Eggplant only.
A number had eggplant and potatoes,
And some even had other vegetables added.
So I guess it is like so many other things.
Whatever one likes the best,
Is the best.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:06PM
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May not be relevant:

Potatoes were first introduced to Greece around the mid 19th century.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:26PM
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So they were around for about 3/4 century before moussaka was created, if my sources are correct. Maybe the first moussaka ever in Greece may well have had a potato in it!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Although my family always made moussaka with only eggplant, potato moussaka is a variation. The same is true, to a lesser degree, with using zucchini. I've seen recipes from Greek Orthodox church cookbooks that use only eggplant, only potato, and a mix of the two.

I've used potato before but prefer straight eggplant. That said, I think the potato slices contribute a sturdiness that you don't get with just eggplant. Eggplant softens and can get smushy. The potato slices add textural appeal.

The only moussaka I don't care for is when the custard is in the middle rather than on the top. It must be a texture thing for me. Too much creaminess mixed with the softened eggplant. I like the browned crust of the custard baked on top.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:30PM
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It's not haute cuisine. I imagine people would have used what they had on hand. Few recipes are written in stone! In Greece, I've never had it with tatoes but that doesn't mean much. It's a delicious dish. I never use lamb either as the price here is too expensive so I use beef. It's a bit like everyone has their own favourite Bolognese recipe etc.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:05AM
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This was the first that I'd heard of potatoes in Moussaka, too, but it makes sense that they'd be in many family recipes. Wouldn't they be a great way to extend it?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 6:29PM
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I've never really cared for moussaka but that's because I'm not a huge fan of eggplant. Must try it with potatoes and/or zucchini.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 2:58AM
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The first restaurant I ordered moussaka included potatoes in the recipe. I would never enjoy the dish without potatoes. They add a little firmness and I like potatoes in almost every combination dish.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:47PM
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