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Monday, August 2, 2010


Here is another traditional recipe that I love.  In my family this dish is cooked more or less the same way except the cream sauce.  The cream sauce seems to be more common in Greek based recipes and this one I generally use is an adapted version of the Moussaka recipe from my The Complete Middle East Cookbook.  I wanted to write about this recipe a long time ago, but I didn't like the photos I took back then.  But it seems you can't take a good looking moussaka picture (If you don't believe me just Google Moussaka for images).  There is only few decent ones.  I just took these shots for you to give you an idea what it sort of looks like.  Despite the way it looks in the photos, it's one of my favorite dishes.  I only used aubergines here but you can also add sliced potatoes.

(Serves 5-6)

300 g minced beef
3 Aubergines (Peeled partially and sliced 1-1.5 cm (1/4") thick)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Cream Sauce:
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk
a pinch of nutmeg 
1 tablespoon of grated parmesan
1 egg
salt and pepper

1. Start with peeling your aubergines as described in the ingredients section.  In a large bowl, put some water and about a teaspoon of salt and leave the aubergine slices in this salty water for about an hour.  Dry them with a paper towel.  This process is not necessary but it is done so that aubergines don't absorb too much oil during frying. 
2. Next, put 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry both sides of aubergine slices until they are light brown.  Put them on a plate until you are ready with the rest of the ingredients.  (Here you can use oil spray or brush the aubergines slightly with a little bit of olive oil as an alternative).
3. To make the meat sauce, saute the onions and garlic in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the minced beef and continue to cook.  Finally add the tomatoes, tomato paste with some salt and pepper.  When it's all done, take it off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.  
4.  Make your cream sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Put in all the ingredients, except the parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  With the help of a whisker, keep whisking the sauce over medium heat until you have a thick sauce.  Take it off the heat and stir in the parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. 
5.  Take a medium size casserole dish to layer up the moussaka.  Put a layer of aubergines at the bottom, then a layer of minced meat sauce over the aubergines.  Repeat the same process until you run out of the meat sauce and aubergines.  Finally, spread the cream sauce on top.  If you have some left over parmesan, sprinkle it over the cream sauce.  A little bit of black pepper on top and then you are ready to put it in the preheated oven (180° C/356° F) for about 45 minutes until you have a golden brown creamy sauce on top.  Serve it with rice, potatoes or with some nice plain yogurt. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never had moussaka but it certainly sounds like something I would love. It looks so creamy and delicious!