Trish's Zucchini Mousaka
Traditionally this one dish Mediterranean meal is made with eggplant. But not all members of my household care for that splendid purple vegetable that so wonderfully absorbs the flavours of the dish it is served with. So....the humble zucchini suffices in most of my dishes. As one loses that starchy element if you don't use an eggplant...I add a layer of rice in my version of Mousaka.
There are four layers in my version of Mousaka. Meat, Rice, Cream cheese sauce and the Zucchini and vegetables.
Rice: Melt 2 tbsp butter in saucepan. Saute 1 minced clove garlic; when softened add 1 cup BASAMATI (nothing else really will do) and stir till well coated with the butter and garlic. Turn up heat and add two cups chicken broth. (1 can plus 1 can water will do). Bring to a boil and then cover and turn to simmer for ten to 15 minutes; fluffing when the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Meat: Slowly brown 1 lb lean ground beef over low heat. While still pink add 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 minced clove garlic and 1/2 finely chopped white onion. Continue to brown, draining when done.
Zucchini and Vegetables: In a separate skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute 1 clove minced garlic and 1 sliced zucchini. Add 1 tbsp fresh basil pesto sauce and 1 tbsp sundried olives in oil. Add salt and fresh pepper to taste. Add 1 red and 1 yellow pepper sliced in rings. Continue to saute until vegetables are slightly softened. Put aside.
Cream Cheese Sauce: In a bowl whisk 3 eggs, 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup of whipping cream at room temp. Pour mixture into a saucepan in which 2 tbsp of butter has been melted. Bring to a light boil ...turn down heat. Add about 4 tbsp goat cheese. Keep on a very low heat until used in the layers.
In a casserole dish layer the rice, 1/2 the vegetables, and then meat, remaining vegetables and then top with the cream sauce. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and pop in 350 oven for 35 minutes. YUM!