Spiced Lamb Pillows
I was tossing and turning one night not sleeping, per usual, and I began contemplating what I was going to do with my leftover eggplant that I had diced up that afternoon. Then, while thinking about counting sheep….it came to me…..do a twist on moussaka! So, here is a twist I threw together. Lo and behold, it was FANTASTIC, so good in fact, I went and bought more eggplant to do it again so my husband could try it (I ended up eating all of the first go round, with the help of a neighbor…who loved it also). He also gave it two thumbs up. - Debbie
At a glance
1 Medium Eggplant
Vegetable Oil for frying eggplant
1 Package Phyllo Dough, thawed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel eggplant and dice in large chunks. Place the diced eggplant in a large bowl and fill with water and salt liberally, let set for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will draw out the bitterness that eggplant can have. It is ok to leave this in the refrigerator as many as 2 days, just ensure that it is covered well with plastic wrap. When ready to use, drain and dry with a kitchen towel.
Finely chop the yellow onion. Heat the oil and butter together in a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté the onion until it is translucent and beginning to soften. Add the ground lamb and cook until the lamb is cooked through, then drain and set aside.
Heat enough vegetable oil (about 2 inches) in the pan, when hot, add the eggplant and cook until the eggplant is tender. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Discard the oil.
In a small bowl or measuring cup add the tomato paste, wine, cinnamon, oregano, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Return pan to the stove on a medium high heat and add the onion, lamb, eggplant. Once the mixture starts to sizzle and the pan is hot, add the wine mixture and blend all ingredients well. Turn the heat to a medium low heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Thaw the phyllo dough and then cut into desired shape. I use the mouth of a highball glass or a square cookie cutter. If serving for a main dish, use a larger size, such as the mouth of the glass, or if serving as an appetizer, use a miniature cookie cutter. There should be 5-10 pieces per layer.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place a layer of phyllo on the sheet and brush with melted butter, put about a tablespoon of the lamb mixture, more or less depending on the size of the layer of dough, and then place another layer of dough on top of the lamb mixture, brush with butter and repeat with the lamb mixture, ending with a layer of the dough brushed with butter. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the bottom layers are brown and then turn the oven to broil and broil for 2 minutes, just long enough to brown the top layer. Serve immediately. A serving option is to sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.