Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recipe: Moussaka

I'm not one for blowing my own horn(....allright I am....just a bit!) but this is one of THE NICEST things I have EVER cooked. EVER. I mean, i'm not sure how traditional it is when compared to Greek or Cypriot recipes, but it's still lush. I believe roasting the aubergine off first, in nice thin slices, avoids the aubergine from becoming hard or slimy- a horrible texture you get sometimes in some other Moussakas. Try serving this with a delicious cucumber, tomato, kos lettuce, and mint salad.

Moussaka (serves 3)

1 aubergine, sliced into thin rings
2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
500g minced lamb
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp dried mint
300g diced ripe tomatoes
30g butter
1 level tbsp plain flour
100ml skimmed milk
15g finely grated parmesan
30g crumbled feta
1 egg yolk
Small handful Fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and lay the slices of aubergine on it. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, fry the onions, garlic and olive oil on a medium heat, covered, for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat, and add the minced lamb, stock cube, cinnamon and mint. Cook for ten minutes, or until browned.
3. Add tomato puree, and cook for a couple of minutes. If there is a lot of fat, drain some of it away from the pan. Add chopped tomatoes, and cook covered, on a low/medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Whilst the lamb/tomato is slowly simmering, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter, stir in the flour, add milk, and once thickened, add the parmesan and feta and stir in. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the egg yolk. Don’t worry if the sauce is ‘lumpy’, once the dish has cooked in the oven it will even out.
5. Preheat the oven dish to 180C. Pour the lamb mixture into an oven proof dish. Evenly layer the aubergine slices on top of the lamb. Pour the white sauce over the aubergine, and smooth over with a spoon. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, garnish with some freshly chopped parsley, and serve!

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