Friday, 20 June 2008

Moussaka Recipe and the Greek island of Kos

This is the main road of Tingaki on the Greek island of Kos, along this road is restaurant after restaurant. We loved walking along reading all the menus that they have outside.
The best place to eat in Tingaki, Kos is called Sagittarius Restaurant it is owned and run by Manos and his wife Donna (Donna is from the UK). They are such a lovely couple. They have now built some excellent looking apartments which they have recently opened.

This is the island of Pserimos which easily reached by boat from Kos.


Okay - only one week to go before we're off to the Greek island of Thassos -
Can I wait much longer? NO!
One of my most favourite dish is Moussaka. There are many versions it seems, some with potato at the bottom and some without. Whether, right or wrong, whenever I've had it it has always had the potato layer at the bottom. This to me, makes it even more yummy as the potatoes soak up the nice flavours.
I can't get Kefalograviera cheese so always use a mixture of Romano and Parmesan.  Okay here's what I did.

Print Recipe
To serve 4 to 6 you will need:
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
About 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
500g Minced Lamb - Get the best one so it's not too fatty
1 Can of Good Quality Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 a Glass of Red Wine
2 Large Onions
5 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 Aubergine, sliced into thin rounds
3 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 Cup of Romano and Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoons Dried Basil
1/2 a Teaspoon of Dried Mint
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Tomato Puree
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 to 3 Large Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
For the Bechamel Sauce:

1/4 Cup Melted Butter
2 Cups Hot Milk
3 Tablespoons Plain Flour
2 Eggs - Lightly Beaten
3/4 Cup Grated Romano and Parmesan
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
Salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon) 

How to make it:
Slice and salt the aubergine and leave for about 30 minutes, then dry them with kitchen towel and brush them with a little olive oil. Now grill them on a grill pan until they are cooked through.

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Now add the lamb and cook until it is lightly browned. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced.
Now add the oregano, basil, cinnamon, olives and the can of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook on a low heat for about 45 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick.

Now put the sliced potatoes into boiling water and simmer partly covered for about 6 minutes. When you can easily insert a knife they are ready. Run them under cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 9 x 9 inches and about 2 inches deep.
Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom. Now put a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine, sprinkle with some cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by a layer of aubergine (I slightly ran out of aubergine to make a fancy looking pattern), but hey does it matter?!
Sprinkle the top with a little more cheese. Now onto the sauce!
Be prepared to make a mess and wonder why you are bothering! Or perhaps it's just me........Sauce everywhere, covered the cooker, covered me, the wall......But it is worth it when it's done, trust me!

The Bechamel Sauce:
In saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
Now at this point, add the hot milk. I use an hand held electric whisk (that's why I make so much mess I suppose), but at least my sauce has no lumps! Keep that whisk going (even though the whole kitchen now needs a team of cleaners in LOL
Add the eggs and grated cheese until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce.
Mix in the ground nutmeg.
Taste a smidgen of it if you dare (remember there are raw eggs in it) eeeek!
Just to see if it needs any more salt.
I do this now as I once made it and forgot the salt - it made the whole dish taste horrid.
Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake in a Pre-heated oven at 175C for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and it is piping hot in the middle.
Anyway, that is exactly how I made this Moussaka today and it was yummy with a big Y !!!!
Served with a nice salad.

12 comments:

Peter M said...

Jan, that's a good moussaka and as you said, many variations but you got the gist of the dish. From your cookery of late, I know you're itching for that Greek vacation...soon, darlin' soon!

Jan said...

Your moussaka looks fab, as do your photos of Greece. The Greek Islands (any of them) are just the perfect place for a holiday. I hope I get back there one day.

Marie said...

Lovely looking Moussaka Jan and salad as well. Can you believe I have never eaten Moussaka??? Neither can I!!

Angie said...

I've never eaten Moussaka either. This looks so good I have to try it. I love the way you describe your methods! There was I thinking I was the only person who totally messes up the kitchen when I cook. One of these days I'll publish a picture of my disaster zone. Tell you what: you show us yours and I'll show you mine!
Angie, xx

Tracy said...

Hi, Jan! My first visit...found you via Marie of Oak Cottage. You have a very tasty blog--I'm hungry just looking at all the photos--LOL! Your moussaka looks terrific. I don't eat meat, but have made variations of this classic dish with red and green lentils with good result. You salad also looks terrific. I look forward to coming back and seeing more of you cooking. Happy weekend! :o)

nicisme said...

Your photos are putting me in the holiday mood! Not long now you lucky thing!

Kevin said...

I really like moussaka as well and yours looks great!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I'm so jealous that you get to go to Greece.
The moussaka is droolworthy....
Thanks for the tag, I appreciate, but I Have just done a 30 question tag and it covers a lot of the same questions so I'll give this one a skip. Thx for the thought though.

Lore said...

I cannot help but adore Greek food. That moussaka makes me drool. I envy you guys :)

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've never had moussaka before, but this looks delicious! One more meal on the to-do list.

Archana said...

Thats like a delish Moussaka,looks fabulous.You have some lovely recipes here, will sure be a frequent visitor. BTW, I am hosting a ONE DISH MEAL EVENT, I would love for you to participate. The details are in my site.

Corinne said...

That looks delicious! Its reminds me of a kind of Greek lasagna... I love eggplant/aubergine when cooked correctly... will have to add this to me "to-make" list.

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