I really enjoy cooking with my husband, together in the kitchen, moving around each other in smooth harmony, like a dance. The stereo's providing the soundtrack to a flirtatious evening. It's fun getting hugs and kisses whilst making Bechamel sauce!
Moussaka is a firm favourite in our home. I always make it with lean lamb mince. A fresh Greek village salad made of ripe tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, aromatic green peppers, red onion, feta, Kalamata olives, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and oregano is the perfect accompaniment.
This recipe is my own modification of the recipe in Vefa Alexiadou's book, Greek Cuisine. It's not difficult to make and if you have a few aubergines in the fridge sometime, it's certainly worth a try. I grilled my aubergines on the barbecue, brushing them lightly with olive oil first ( a job my husband took on with no resistance as it involved using the barbecue!)
It is really delicious and will have everyone coming back for seconds!
You will need:
- 3 large aubergines
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 750g minced lamb mince
- 500 ml passata or 2 cups pureed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 6 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
- 3 cups thick Bechamel sauce
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Slice the aubergines and potatoes, fry them till lightly browned or lightly brush them with olive oil and grill them on the barbecue.
Saute the onion in the heated oil in a heavy saucepan until transparent. Add the garlic and lightly fry. Add the mince and stir until browned. Then add the tomatoes and season to taste. Simmer until all the liquid evaporates. Allow to cool and add in the chopped parsley.
Arrange half the eggplant and potato slices and in a layer on the bottom of an ovenproof dish, sprinkled with 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, and spread over half the meat sauce. Sprinkle the top with half the grated cheese and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs. Cover with the remaining eggplants and potatoes, spread over the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle top with the rest of the grated cheese and breadcrumbs.
Prepare 3 cups thick Bechamel sauce and pour over the moussaka. Bake in a 200º C preheated oven for 45 minutes. Let moussaka stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with Greek village salad, olives, feta and crispy bread! Enjoy the taste of Greece!