Saturday, October 15, 2011

Moussaka

I have been reading my friends blog this afternoon, which is largely about her little boy Noah, her husband Richard and her family and friends, life in general.
Whilst reading through and looking at some of her amazing photo's, I felt a pang of guilt on two counts, one the camera has been locked away in its bag for about a two weeks now, and secondly it is about that long since I have blogged myself.

The fact we are staying home tonight (hopefully so that we are well rested for a day out with the grandkids tomorrow on a whale watching cruise), gave me the chance to cook something new, something I know Jo is going to love, because of the fact it has eggplant as one of the main ingredients, it has been an interesting afternoon cooking this dish.
Browning the meat.
Ready to simmer for forty minutes
What has made it interesting has been the developing flavours, which for a while there, I was thinking this isn’t right surely, having a stick of cinnamon in a meat sauce and then adding caster sugar?, but as the sauce cooked the flavours developed and it was a task not to eat it by the spoonful when tasting the final result.
Peeling strips out of the skin helps when eating the dish, makes it easier to cut through.

Salted eggplant.

Pan fried to a golden brown.

As a healthy means of browning the eggplant, the recipe suggests brushing with oil and grilling until brown 3-4 minutes, well I grilled 3-4 minutes, then I gave it another four minutes, and yet another five minutes, just didn’t work. 
Finally I pulled out my frying pan and had it beautifully cooked in half the time, and to keep with the theme of being a little healthier, I just used a small squirt of EVO.
Layering the eggplant and meat sauce






Now everything is cooked and ready to go, just need to layer with eggplant, then the meat sauce, more eggplant followed by a final layer of meat sauce, another layer of eggplant and then finishing of with the b├ęchamel sauce and a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Looking good already

Pour the Bechamel sauce all over the top!
The b├ęchamel sauce was a breeze to make, basically the same recipe as I used for my lasagne last week, only difference being that you add an egg once the sauce is cooked and cooled.  I almost did the blokey thing and put the eggs in straight away as the pot come off the stove, then thought better of it and let it cool, good thing too as I realised later I would have had an omelette instead of a sauce.
Add the cheese and it is oven ready.


So chuffed with this result!

The recipe also suggests a simple salad of cos lettuce, dill and spring onions tossed in lemon juice and EVO, I wasn’t real sure of the idea of cos and dill together, but dill is pone of Jo’s favourite herbs, so I went with it and was so happy I did, the flavours went well with the moussaka and the lemon dressing cut through the oiliness from the eggplant.
Great simple salad, but so yummy!

YUM YUM

and YUM
I cannot remember having had moussaka before, maybe I have I’m not sure, whatever tonight’s meal will not be the last time I try this recipe, the flavours are very good and in some way intriguing, mainly due to the cinnamon in the meat sauce I think, it was very very Moorish and went down so well with a slab of crusty bread and a glass of red, delightful! 
My kinda food!

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