Iron Chef Shellie

Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge – Moussaka

Week 5
Theme: Greek
Cookbook Used: Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart
Author: George Calombaris

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.

Moussaka
George Calombaris

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

Béchamel
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)

Meat Sauce:
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).

Béchamel:
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.


Assemble:
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.

Serves 4.

Voila! Bon Appétit!

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Comments
12 Responses to “Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge – Moussaka”
  1. Rilsta @ My Food Trail says:

    Hehe, you made moussaka too! Boo for losing the photos though!

    It was interesting to see how the recipes differed! I would have liked to taste the difference!

  2. penny aka jeroxie says:

    I will go mad if I lost any photos. I have to try and make this in winter!

  3. Maria@TheGourmetChallenge says:

    I've done that before!! Too many things to eat and photograph and no sense to remove photos before formatting!! I had a big cooking weekend too, christmas is good for two things, loads of cooking and loads of presents. The first one has already come true, fingers crossed so will the second!!

  4. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    I bet those photos deleted themselves, the camera wanted to keep your moussaka all to itself.

  5. Ellie says:

    Moussaka is one of my favorite Greek food. It's easy to make and always turn out well.

  6. chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au says:

    Snap…for using this cookbook too! Whenever i hear the word Moussaka now, all I can think of is George's voice saying "my mother's moussaka". Shame about the photo's but can't wait to see your annual feast ones.

  7. Agnes says:

    Oh no! Hopefully you didn't lose too many photos :( I'll bet your moussaka looked and tasted wonderful though.

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    LOVE that opening picture Shellie! Looks like straight out of Donna Hay magazine! :D

  9. Anonymous says:

    Moussaka reminds me of the Wog Boy film where it is pronouced as 'Moose-ca-ca' aka Moose poo.

  10. Iron Chef Shellie says:

    Hi Rilsta – Yeah, I noticed you only used lamb mince and no potatoes!

    Hi Penny – haha, ah well, you get over it :P It's just a few photos =)

    Hi Maria – Yes… it's a bit silly, but I'm glad I'm not the only one to do it :P Hope you get lots of presents too!

    Hi Conor – lol, maybe ;)

    Hi Ellie- It is easy to make, and deeelicious!

    Hi Chitchatchomp – So true, I hear the same thing! I shall upload the feast photos soon!

    Hi Agnes – No no, just my moussaka photos I believe!

    Hi Lorraine – Thanks Lorraine… can't take credit for that one though =(

    Hi Anonymous – Yes, I know… you have told me many times.

  11. muffinsareuglycupcakes says:

    what a shame!
    bet your moussaka looked awesome though! :)
    cheer up dear. and indeed, comfort food!
    yum.

  12. Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) says:

    aww that sucks but the memory lingered i'm sure.

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