Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recipe for the month: Moussaka

Moussaka, the traditional Greek comfort dish, is my all-time favorite dish that never fails me and guaranteed to impress everyone. I have to admit this is not an easy recipe and it requires ahead planning but totally worth all the effort. And it is a recipe you have to give it a try. The flavour of different layers of eggplant, meat sauce, potatoes and the white cheesy sauce makes this dish divine. This is a great choice of recipe when you have a large gathering at home because this can be made in advance.  It's a perfect weekend meal and you can forget about the calories for a while. One bite of this dish and get ready to swoon. So here is the recipe

·         3 eggplants cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (lengthwise or across)
·         2 medium size potatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick slices
·         salt
·         1/4 cup olive oil
·         500 to 650gms minced lamb/beef (I used lamb)
·         salt to taste
·         ground black pepper to taste
·         2 onions, chopped
·         1tbsp ginger minced
·         1tbsp garlic minced
·         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1/4 teaspoon chilly powder
·         1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
·         1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

·         For the Béchamel Sauce
·         3 egg, beaten
·         100gms butter
·         3 cups milk
·         1 cup water
·         1/3rd cup all-purpose flour
·         salt to taste
·         pepper to taste

·         1 1/2 cups  Parmesan cheese

1.      Lay the slices of eggplant on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Then in a skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Fry the eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
2.      Pan fry the sliced potatoes and set aside on paper towels to drain.
3.      In an empty vessel put the washed mince and let all the moisture dry off.
4.      Then In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and add the minced lamb, salt and pepper to taste, onions, and garlic and ginger. After the meat is browned, sprinkle in the spices. Pour in the tomato sauce and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
5.      To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Lower heat; gradually pour in the milk and 1 cup water, whisking constantly until it thickens. Season with salt, and white pepper. There must not be any lumps. Then set it aside to cool. Once it has cooled down add the cheese and stir. Then beat up the 3 eggs and add to the white sauce and set it aside. 
6.       So now we have to layer the eggplant, minced meat, potato and the sauce.
7.       Arrange a layer of potato in a baking dish which is greased at the bottom. Cover the potato with half of the meat mixture. Then arrange the layer of eggplant, cover this layer with the remaining meat mix. Pour the béchamel sauce on top.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
8.       Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Process of layering in pictures:

·         Make the meat sauce and béchamel sauce the previous day and rewarm it when assembling the dish.
·         Add mushrooms and spinach for variation. 
·         If you lack time, use the instant béchamel mix. I do it when I lack time!
·         Leftovers can be stored and refrigerator in airtight container and tastes even better the next day!

Above pictures are copyright Tickled by Inspirations

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