Tag Archives: aubergines

Must-have Moussaka

Standard

That’s a master-class recipe I stole from Guardian’s ‘How to cook a perfect…’ section. Due to my Turkish fanaticism I’m in for anything that has lamb and aubergines in it. They say moussaka is Greek but this dish is well known and cooked in the whole Mediterranean – Arabic region.

4 portions

4 tbsp olive oil
3 medium or 2 large aubergines, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
500g minced lamb
2 tbsp tomato purée, mixed with 150ml water
150ml red wine
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

White sauce (bechamel but wihout onions)
500ml milk
60g butter
60g plain flour
50g kefalotyri or pecorino cheese, grated (or any hard and a bit spicy sheep cheese)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Set up oven to 180 Celsius and grill sliced aubergines (5 cm thick long slices, brushed with olive oil and salted)  until they turn soft and golden (20 mins). Finely chop onions and fry in a large pan until transparent. Stir in crushed garlic, oregano and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes. Add minced lamb and cook until lamb is brown. Add tomato puree and wine, simmer for 1 minute and keep on a low heat for 30 minutes until liquids reduce. Add salt, pepper and chopped parsley.

White sauce:

Melt butter on a small pan and stir in the flour keeping low heat on. Heat up the milk (don’t let it boil) and add in flour with butter. Gradually add cheese: keep on stirring until the sauce thickens.  Set aside for a couple of minutes and beat in the eggs. Add 1 flat teaspoon of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Divide aubergines into 3 parts: 1 layer goes to the bottom of the baking dish, top it with the half the meat, arrange 2nd part of the aubergines on top, cover with the remainder of meat and 3rd part of aubergines. Cover with the sauce and bake for 45 minutes until the cover is well browned.

 

Advertisements

Think Polish, cook Italian. Aubergines.

Standard

For some light, veggie meal and frustration-free cooking one must try an aubergine bake.

Based on a popular Italian dish I ate in Rome here’s its simplified version. Now, when I was putting a recipe together I googled the dish and actually found a very promising one by Jamie (check here).

A pic before..

And after

200 gram mozzarella cheese

2 eggplants

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 garlic cloves

fresh basil (I didn’t have! I used dried one and used parley to garnish.. )

dried oregano

salt, pepper, olive oil

1 beaten egg

 

Slice aubergines in a long chunks and grill them for 10 mins on a hot grill pan (don’t have – I  just fried them on 1 tablespoon of olive) . On a separate pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive and add crushed garlic. Let it free the aroma (3 mins) and add tomatoes and tomato purée. Add oregano, half basil, salt and pepper and cook on a small heat for 10-14 mins. Place half aubergines in an oven-friendly dish and cover with tomato sauce. Cover with the remainder aubergines and top with sliced mozzarella (all right, they usually use parmesan but mozzarella is a lighter and cheaper option). Cover with beaten egg and bake for approx. 40-45 mins in 180 Celcius. Watch the cheese as it gets burned: the best it’s to keep it under the cover for 30 mins and then let it brownish for another 10-15 min. Decorate with basil. To be served with a cooled vino rosso ..