Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Famous Moussaká......Very Greek And May I Say Byzantine As Well !!


Elongated Pear Shaped Eggplant
My Photo
The Moussaka
Next Morning
If you ever decide to make a Moussaka make sure to prepare it and cook it the day before and refrigerate overnight. Next day it can be heated or eaten at room temperature. I guarantee you it will be 1000 times tastier forgetting the fact that after you finish cooking it you will be ready to go to bed to sleep for the night!! Specially when you have to cook for lunch of that day as well and wash the pots and pans you have used...we were very spoilt where we came from..... so...are you ready to go on a crusade back to the middle ages??





THE Greek master cook and chef Nicolas Tselemendes himself has taken the old medieval recipe of Mousaká and translated it into a modern recipe. By that I mean he used the equivalent of the products used  back then and exchanging with other in order to represent a Moussaka eaten back during those times. I would have loved to elaborate on Byzantine cuisine but I wouldn't want to bore you.  For those interested this is the link:
http://www.godecookery.com/byznrec/byznrec.htm#Moussaka
For a pan 30 cms x 36 cm (ID = internal dimension) x 5 cms deep you need:
Serves 6 as a main dish with a salad on the side  or  10 as a starter.
For the eggplant:


-  2 kg of those elongated shiny black eggplant cut  in 1 cms. slices lengthwise baked for 1 hour at 175 degrees Centigrade.
Note:  since you would prefer to eat a lighter version of the Moussaka, the eggplant is baked dry on baking paper with some olive oil brushed on the surface instead of deep frying it as in the past when high cholesterol was not an issue.
For the potatoes:
-  Parboil 2 kg of potatoes pealed and cut in 1 cms. slices.
Eggplant Cut Lengthwise
Surface Brushed With Olive Oil
My Phot
Parboiled Potatoes Sliced As Shown
My Photo





For the meat sauce:

Meat Sauce Simmering To Reduce Juices And Cook.
The Haze You See In The Photo Is From The Co
-  Fry 1 finely minced big onion, 4 cloves garlic passed through the  press. Add 1 kg ground beef, and brown till juices evaporate. Add some soy  sauce, 500 gms of grated tomatoes with juice, 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, 3-4 rounds of the nutmeg mill, 2 beef cubes dissolved in 100 ml of hot water, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. dry thyme and simmer for 30 minutes without cover stirring frequently. The meat sauce needs to be dryish.
For the bechamel sauce: 

-  Melt 100 gms of butter over medium heat and add 100 gms of flour. Make a roux, let the flour cook a few seconds, then add 1.25 liter of milk slowly. Season with salt, a few turns of the nutmeg mill, white pepper.
Method:
-  Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil.
-  Cover the bottom of the pan with the potatoes.
-  Cover the potatoes with one layer of cooked eggplant.
-  Cover the eggplant with half of the grated cheese
-  Cover the grated cheese with meat sauce.


Eggplant Covering Potatoes
Sprinkled With Any Soft Cheese.
My P
Meat Sauce Covering Eggplant
My Photo












-  Cover the meat sauce with the rest of the eggplant.
-  Cover the eggplant with the rest of the cheese.









Bechamel Sauce Already In Place
 -  Cover the whole with the béchamel sauce.
-  Sprinkle with some freshly ground pepper, spread a few little knobs of butter on the bechamel.
Bake for 1 hour in a preheated to maximum heat oven or till béchamel surface takes a nice color, and the delicious aroma of Moussaka fills the air.


Final Result  !!
Ready To Eat
My Photo
Take out from oven, let cool for 30 minutes and serve OR leave it for the next day in which case it will taste much better.
After all the above I guess you are now ready to go to crash in bed!!
Enjoy either!!
Stelio
P.S. Let me not scare you off making a Moussaka.  There was a bit more of work to be done because I had to take pictures, write the recipoe, cook the Moussaka, and cook lunch (I usually cook lunch on weekends).
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1QI9F1mh2