So some time ago someone decided they wanted a succulent, hearty meal that satisfies not only your appetite but sends explosions of taste throughout your mouth all the while transporting your senses- making you smile, relax and enjoy life…Leave it to the Greeks to invent such a dish! (Is that any surprise?) Presenting: Moussaka!
Beware though, Moussaka is not for the faint of heart! A small portion, accompanied by a salad or Horta, goes a long way. This is, in every sense a real-deal, hearty-meal. I prepare mine with a meat sauce (lamb is more typical, but any ground meat will do). Of course eggplant rules here, along with potatoes and a mouthwatering, creamy bechamel sauce tweaked with eggs. This happens to be my husband’s favourite meal- so I prepared this one for his birthday! To keep it a surprise, this time I cooked in my basement kitchen- I love that I can switch it up like that;)
Here’s the way I make my Moussaka:
- Meat sauce (prepared in advance)
- Sliced Potatoes (enough to fill two layers of a baking pan-of your choice)
- Eggplant (enough to abundantly fill one layer of a baking pan of your choice)
- 2-3 tablespoons of flour
- 3 tbl sp of butter
- Milk as needed
- 3 eggs (Some people put upto 5- let’s keep it light at 3;)
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tbl sp of grated Graviera cheese (or Parmesan)
- Pam or olive oil to coat your pan
(To save time, make sure you’ve prepared a meat sauce in advance).
Slice your potatoes, salt and bake on light broil till golden – turn over and broil again (no oil- just Pam on the baking sheet).
Once broiled, layer in a baking pan. Next, cover potatoes with your meat sauce.
Slice your eggplant, salt and proceed as you did with potatoes.
Once broiled, layer over the meat sauce. (Then, again, cover these with more meat sauce).
Add a last layer of broiled potatoes over the meat sauce.
Now, for the Bechamel!
In a large pot, mix butter and flour until they amalgamate.
When it starts to sizzle slightly, add milk. Continue to stir as it thickens (you don’t want it to stick to bottom of pan and burn!) AND keep adding milk. Add a bit of salt as well. Continue to do this until you get a nice thick sauce. Sprinkle about a table spoon of grated Graviera cheese-or- Parmesan cheese (only if you’d like!) I did;)
Once the bechamel is ready, wait a few minutes off the burner- Then place pot in fridge to speed up the cooling process.
On the same token, place eggs in warm water to heat them up a bit (so there’s no clash of temperature between the two. Otherwise,this could cause the eggs to scramble when mixing them in sauce later).
Once the two are cool – or about the same temperature, fold the eggs into the bechamel sauce. Mix it up well.
Pour the whole mixture onto that last layer of potatoes.
Bake at 350 for about an hour or so…until the Moussaka is a nice golden color. (it should also rise a bit).
And there you go! Roll out the red carpet! Kali Orexi!
#confessionoftheday : It was impossible for me to resist temptation…I had more than one piece!