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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...

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Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge – Moussaka
December 21, 2009
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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!

Comments

12 comments on “Week 5: The Cookbook Challenge – Moussaka
  1. Rilsta @ My Food Trail

    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!

    December 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm
  2. penny aka jeroxie

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

    December 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm
  3. Maria@TheGourmetChallenge

    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!!

    December 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm
  4. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

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

    December 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm
  5. Ellie

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

    December 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm
  6. chitchatchomp@yahoo.com.au

    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.

    December 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm
  7. Agnes

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

    December 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm
  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

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

    December 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm
  9. Anonymous

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

    December 21, 2009 at 9:47 pm
  10. Iron Chef Shellie

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

    Hi Penny – haha, ah well, you get over it 😛 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 😛 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.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:32 am
  11. muffinsareuglycupcakes

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

    December 22, 2009 at 11:14 am
  12. Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday)

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

    December 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm
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Shellie Froidevaux

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