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Thursday, July 15, 2010

MOUSSAKA RECIPE

This is a traditional dish claimed by both the Greeks and the Turks. Whatever its origins, it’s well worth the effort you have to put in to making it. Like our Pastitsio recipe it takes a while to prepare and then ¾ of an hour in a preheated medium oven.
If you’re not a fan of aubergines (eggplants) you can substitute them with courgettes (zucchini), and if you are a vegetarian you can use both and leave out the meat. You just need to fry the courgettes lightly so that they start to become translucent.
Because the sauce is rather like a soufflé, you need to put the whole thing in a greased oven proof dish which has a lot of room at the top (leave 3 inches to be on the safe side) as the sauce will rise like a soufflé. You can omit the eggs if you’d prefer, and just settle for a cheese sauce.

Ingredients
300 gr minced beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano (dried)
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp flour
oil
1 large aubergine, sliced, salted, washed thoroughly and dried
4-5 tomatoes, sliced
3-4 medium sized potatoes
50 gr butter
50 gr plain flour
250 gr grated cheese (cheddar for flavour)
750 ml milk
2 eggs separated and whites whisked to stiff peaks
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.



Method
Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the onions and garlic until the onions start to turn translucent, then add the minced beef, and fry until it is cooked. Add a tbsp flour and the tomato puree to soak up the fatty juices, stirring well. Then add the oregano and Worcestershire sauce.
Remove from the heat and put in the oven proof dish you have greased.
Now add more oil to the frying pan and fry the aubergines, for about 5-10 mins. While you are doing this, place a layer of tomato slices over the meat mixture.
When the slices of aubergine are cooked, remove from the pan and get rid of the excess oil by drying them on absorbent paper. Then layer them over the tomatoes.
Fry the potato slices for about 10 mins, 5 mins for each side, dry as you did the aubergines and put them over the aubergine layer.
You can now make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter over a low heat, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour so that it becomes a smooth paste. Slowly pour in a little milk and stir. Now put the pan back on the low heat, and add the milk gradually, stirring all the while so that it doesn’t become lumpy. Bring to the boil, add half the grated cheese, and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg yolks with a wooden spoon. When they are well integrated into the sauce, add the stiff egg whites and fold into the sauce using a metal spoon. Add the salt and pepper. When the whites are well mixed into the sauce, pour it over the potatoes. Top with the rest of the grated cheese, and place it in the oven which has been preheated to a medium heat. Leave for 45 mins.
Remove from the oven and serve hot with a salad.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

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