Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moussaka

Beautiful Greece
I love Greece and I love  Greek cooking.When I was living in New Egypt in New Jersey I had a friend who was Greek. She is the one who introduced me to Greek cooking and taught me a lot about it. It is naturaly a mediterranean cooking and very much like the food of Provence but with a few differencesen.wikipedia.org/wiki/greek_cuisine  
 Greek cooking  is some times a little more spicy, it use lamb a lot and different cheeses like Feta. It has is own olive oil and different alcool like ouzo. the deserts(blakava) are very sweet and very often Filo is used often. The few dishes my Greek friends show me was to make Moussaka,spanakopita and baklava. Since I have made moussaka often and spanakopita once and a while but I never made Baklava too sweet for me.

Moussaka in Greece is usually made with lamb. When making a recipe  traditional to another country I usually try to keep it close to the original recipe with the flavors of the country. Even my sister told me I should not use leeks in Pistou soup but the Pistou soup seems to lend to more improvisations. There are quite a few differents interpretation of the pistou soup and every body is ready to argue what is the real Pistou soup. But Gisele was right my grand mother from l'Estaque will not  have call my soup a Pistou soup if I used leaks. still.I feel  Moussaka is different it is traditional and pretty much made the same way so I will try not to improvise .   So I will make my Moussaka just like my greek girl friend show me. She did use beef because In the little town of New Egypt it was not easy to find lamb.

MOUSSAKA
ingredients for the meat sauce
3 large eggplants
!/2 cup olive oil
i medium onion
2 garlic gloves
parsley
2 lbs beef (or lamb)
1 can tomatoes sauce
1 cup parmesan
2 cups mozzarella
1 tbs soup tomato paste
italian seasoning or fresh oregano  or thyme

ingredients for the bechamel
4 tbs flour
4tbs butter
11/4 cup milk
2 eggs
salt
ground pepper.

Directions


peel the eggplants and slice in 1/2 inch circles
put in a bowl and salt . Set on  side

for the meat sauce:
saute the onion in olive oil till golden brown
add the chopped garlic and parsley
add the meat and brown till cooked
add the tomatoes sauce and the tomato paste
add a few pinches of Italian seasoning or a few spring of Oregano or thyme
Add salt and pepper
cook for about 30minutes. The meat sauce must be thick.

For the white sauce:

melt the butter in a sauce pan
 Add the flour and mix well on a medium heat
Add the milk and continue mixing.
add the mustard the salt and pepper
and continue cooking about 10 min.
beat the 2 eggs addto the bachamel

Drain the eggplants of their water
put on a cookie sheet
add a little salt and pepper
brush with olive oil
 bake for 7 to 9 min.

line a 9/13 dish with the first layer of eggplants
cover with the meat sauce
spread with mozzarella aand parmesan
and repeat the layers.
Add the bechamel on the top cover with more cheese and the bread crumb.
Cook for 1 hour in a 350 degrees oven
for one or 2 persons you may cook the moussaka in individuals ramequins.
the Moussaka freeze very well.
So nice to get home and have your dinner all ready for you. And really it does get better tasting after it has been reheated
 green salad will complete the meal nicely.

Bon appetit!

Notes:
I make my own tomatoes sauce but you may use any good can tomatoes sauce.
Make sure your meat sauce is thick enough so your Moussaka will hold together