Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge – Moussaka
Cookbook Used: Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart
Because I’m a nuff nuff and had an extreme weekend of cooking, I stupidly formated my memory card before my Christmas luncheon which contained prized photos of my moussaka that I made for this week’s cooking challenge. The best I could do was scan the photo from the book, so this is what is kinda looked like:
How could I not cook from one of George’s books for Greek week?
Hamsley will often blurt out “Moooooooosaka”… so I though I’d shut him up and make moussaka.
What a weekend to make it on though, I have never spent as much time in the kitchen as I did this past weekend. Saturday night my ankles were throbbing due to all the preparation for the annual Christmas luncheon with my friends. A post to come on that soon… if I don’t format my memory card again by accident!
The moussaka was relatively easy to make. The recipe was set out very simply, step by step; so I was never lost on what I should be doing. It was my first attempt at making a béchamel sauce, and man it was an effort; lots and lots of stirring. My arms were a little more buffed after my béchamel work out.
The easiest way to describe moussaka is, it’s a Greek lasagna. Instead of pasta, you have eggplant and potato. We all thought this recipe could have used more meat, but the overall flavour was delicious. You could definitely taste the cinnamon, and the other herbs. A real comfort food / wintery dish.
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely dice
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
300g (10 1/2oz) lamb mince
100g (3 1/2oz) pork mince
100g (3 1/2oz) veal mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cinnamon quills
250g (1 3/4oz) crushed tomatoes
Salt, to taste
2 eggplants (aubergine), sliced 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
3 medium-sized potatoes, sliced 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
100g (3 1/2oz) butter
100g (3 1/2oz) flour
600ml (25fl oz) milk
3 eggs, beaten
100g (3 1/2oz) grated keflagraniera cheese (I just used tasty cheese)
1. Saute diced onion, garlic, lemon thyme and rosemary until soft, add all mince and brown.
2. Add tomato paste, cinnamon quills and crused tomatoes reduce to a low heat and simmer for 1 hour. Season to taste.
3. Brush eggplant and potatoes with olive oil and either grill on barbecue or pan fry until tender. (I just grilled mine under the grill).
1. Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan.
2. Add flour, stir on a low heat for 2 minutes.
3. Slowly add warm milk, continuously stirring until thick. Cover with lid and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Whisk in beaten eggs and keflagraniera cheese, season to taste.
1. Oil casserole dish and lay eggplant over bottom. Then add a layer of meat sauce. Arrange potato slices over meat sauce then over with the béchamel.
2. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 200°C (400°F, Gas Mark 6) until golden brown and béchamel has set.
Voila! Bon Appétit!