Well, there is nothing like spending your Saturday morning cooking something special for the person you love. My wife has been on holiday for the last 10 days so I wanted to treat her to her favorite dish. Mind you I love being in the kitchen and I can whip up some amazing meals, so for her “Welcome Home” dinner, I made Greek Mousakka.
Traditional moussaka is a meat-based dished. My wife being a vegetarian gets a different recipe than this one presented. Serve with a traditional “Greek” salad and maybe a glass of ouzo.
2 large eggplants / aubergines, cut into ¼” / ¾ cm thick slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced (brown, white, yellow)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.4 lb / 700 g ground beef (mince)
14 oz /400g crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste (Note 1)
1 cup beef broth/stock, or water + 1 beef bouillon cube
1½ tsp sugar (any)
2 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
5 tbsp plain flour
3 cups milk (I use low fat)
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
1.Eggplant Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and place them (stacked) in a large colander. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
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2.Preheat oven to 200C/390Lay eggplant onto 2 large baking trays, brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until just softened. Remove and set aside to cool.
1.Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, using the wooden spoon to break up the mince as you go. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
1.Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, using a whisk to keep it moving.
2.Add 1 cup of milk and whisk to combine. It will thicken quite quickly, then add the remaining milk. Whisk until smooth then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens so that it thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
3.Remove from the stove and whisk in cheese. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk the eggs in.
4.Add salt and pepper to taste.
1.Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types).
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2.Place half the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish (I used my 26cm/9″ Lodge skillet), then top with all the Filling.
3.Top with remaining eggplant, then pour over the Béchamel Sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.
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