Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Kalimera!

Apologies for my absence! Last week I took a much needed holiday, sailing a yacht from Santorini to Mykonos in Greece.

Venetian architecture in Mykonos.

I had an amazing time (more on that in another post) and ate a LOT of great food :)
Every night a small group of us would trundle off to hidden family tavernas that were off the beaten track and order a meze of goodies to share, saganaki prawns, scorpion fish, gyros, goat, tomato balls, milk pie- all wonderful!
So naturally the first thing I wanted to eat when I got home was more Greek food!
Being a work night and all, I have kept it simple and created a moussaka with greek salad, heres my recipe!


Ingredients needed:

A little oil, I use sunflower
A light spray oil like fry light
1 onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
900g Lamb mince
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A handful of fresh herbs- I used Thyme, oregano and parsley
1 tbsp of dried oregano
A large glass of white wine
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3 Aubergines (Eggplant)
50g parmesan cheese, grated

And for the b├ęchamel:

75g butter
75g plain flour
1 pint of hot milk
50g of parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten

Start off by frying off the mince, onions and garlic in a little oil in a large frying pan. When this has started to turn brown, add the mixed spice, cinnamon, fresh and dried herbs, white wine and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to become enriched.




Slice the aubergines up roughly half a centimetre in width- you don't need to soak them in salt water to take away any bitterness as this has mostly disappeared in modern varieties. I use a light oil spray to fry my aubergines in- they are a very thirsty vegetable and will soak up any oil in the pan, and I like to keep this version pretty healthy! Lightly season the aubergines in the pan, and fry until they are all a nice golden colour. 




Now you can begin building the layers of your dish! Grab a large oven proof dish and start with a layer of aubergines, sprinkle over a small handful of the parmesan, then finish with a layer of the mince in sauce- rinse and repeat until you are out of ingredients!





To create the creamy sauce to top it off, melt the butter in a hot saucepan & add the flour. Stir for a minute or 2 to make sure the mixture is well heated then take off the heat. You do not need to add your milk gradually as long as it is hot- makes things much faster! Throw all your hot milk in and beat vigorously with a balloon whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Put back on a moderate heat for a few minutes stirring continuously, then season and add the parmesan. Take off the heat again, and after 5 minutes or so stir in the eggs, making sure they don't scramble!
Now pour the sauce over the aubergines and mince, sprinkle some more parmesan over the top, then pop in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until brown and crispy!




Serve with a simple greek salad made up of cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, olives, capers, feta and a good slug of extra virgin olive oil.






Kali orexi!

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