Monday, December 24, 2007


For people who like to be busy in the kitchen (ex: me), I suggest making something like this “Moussaka”, because you will need some time. First you have to make meat sauce, then fry potatoes, fry eggplants, make béchamel sauce and at last baking it. Ok, it’s not hard as I said because you don’t have to make all in one day, you can make the meat sauce and fry both things and keep all in the fridge. When you want to make moussaka, take them out of the fridge, layer all the ingredients and make the béchamel sauce then put it in the oven, and after that you have a complete meal. This moussaka recipe is from......... I don’t know about the original recipe or ingredient, but I like this one, so if you have all this ingredients at home and don’t know what to do, get in the kitchen, be busy, be happy and have a yummy dinner, like me.
Serves 8

Large eggplants (about 1 kg/2 lb 4oz in total)
about 250 ml (1 cup)
Light olive oil
Large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons
Roughly chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Garlic cloves, finely chopped
850 g (1 lb 14 oz)
Minced pork
1 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon
Dried oregano
Bay leaf
125 ml (½ cup)
White wine
500 g (z cups)
Tomato passata
500 g (1 lb 2 oz)
Potatoes, peeled
béchamel sauce
120 g (4 oz)
125 g (1cup)
Plain flour
1 litre ( 2cups)
Warm milk
A little freshly grated nutmeg
Pan: oval dish, 35 cm long, 24 cm wide and 6 cm deep.
Trim the hats off the eggplants, then slice the eggplants lengthways into 0.5mm (¼ inch) slices.
Sprinkle salt quite generously over the slices and leave them in the sink or in a bowl for about
30 minutes to draw out any bitter juices.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a wide non-stick saucepan. Sauté the onion until it is softened and lightly golden. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for another minute until you can smell the garlic, add the mince. Cook over medium-high heat until the meat loses its water and begins to brown. Add the cinnamon, oregano and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. When the mince is golden, add the wine. Let most of the wine evaporate, then add the tomato purée and leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring now and then.
Meanwhile, slice the potatoes lengthways into 5 mm slices and pat them dry. Heat 4 -5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan and fry the potatoes in batches over medium heat until golden on both sides and cooked through. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper, and sprinkle with a little salt.
Rinse the salt from the eggplant with cold water and pat dry, fry in batches in the same pan and oil as the potatoes. When the underside is golden, turn over and prick with a fork in several places, especially in any still hard bits, so that they are almost collapsing. If you press down with a fork, they should not be hard and papery but instead should be almost like a purée. Remove the slices to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil while you finish the next lot.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Arrange half the eggplant over the base of your oven dish. Then add the potatoes in a single layer. Add half the mince, pressing it down with the back of a large spoon. Add the rest of the eggplant in a layer, and then a final layer of mince. Press it down and you should still have about 2½ cm spaces at the top of the dish.
Make the béchamel just before you bake the moussaka.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, then adding the warm milk. It will be immediately absorbed, whisking with one hand while adding ladlefuls of milk with the other. When the sauce seems to be smooth and not too stiff, add salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg and continue cooking let it comes to the boil, for minutes or so, mixing all the time. It should be a very thick and smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and spoon over the mince, it should come just about flush with the top of the dish.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour with a baking sheet underneath to catch any spills, until the moussaka begins to bubble up and the top is golden in parts. Leave it in the oven to cool slightly before serving. It could even be served at room temperature. Cut into traditional square servings.

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