Moussaka & Din Tai Fung
I’ve been craving lamb ever since that lamb stew at Peterson Winery. I’ve never cooked lamb before so I found Emeril’s moussaka recipe, which seemed easy enough. Though it wasn’t difficult to make, it was time consuming. Frying all those potatoes in my tiny skillet and baking three large eggplants was a bit of a pain. Plus, I don’t have a 9×13 so I had to bake mine in a 9×11 and a loaf pan.
When doing my research, I had found two other moussaka recipes (from Simply Recipes and Whole Living) which I had meant to refer to while putting my moussaka together but totally forgot about when I was actually cooking. I ended up mostly following Emeril’s recipe but kind of suck at reading directions these days. My notes:
- Used all lamb and no beef
- 2 eggplants is probably appropriate…3 was waaaay too many. Floured, egg + panko in the oven instead of frying, which may have added to the dryness.
- Fried 3 potatoes…took a really long time in my tiny skillet
- The bechamel in Emeril’s recipe was confusing because it didn’t specify the flour required (simple math but not specific) and I only had non-fat milk so added a little extra butter to fortify…I ended up with too much flour in mine so it wasn’t as light as it should have been…but now I know for next time. First time making a bechamel!
- Used a mixture of parmesan in the middle and some dry Greek cheese from Berkeley Bowl on top…it toasted up and looked like coconut flakes but tasted great!
- Since I like my moussaka a little saucier, I poured some extra tomato sauce over the top before serving. Next time, I’d probably use a 28 oz can of tomatoes…or not soak my eggplant.
Prior to going into the oven…you can already see that the bechamel is a bit thick…looks like melted cheese!
Xiao Long Bao from Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, WA
One of my favorite things to eat in Taipei are the xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung. I was sooooo excited when they opened an outlet in Bellevue, WA last month. I stay at the Westin Bellevue fairly often and this is in the same complex! Though these dumplings were not quite as good as the ones in Taipei, they’re still one of the better xiao long baos I’ve had in the states!