Monday, May 17, 2010

Moussaka - the Greek way


Moussaka, is a taverna staple and I'm obsessed with this classic Greek casserole!
The word moussaka is from the Arabic musaqqa'a, meaning "chilled", but came into English via the Greek. The Greek moussaka, traditionally consists of layers of sliced eggplants, minced meat and topped with a white sauce.
There are variations on this basic recipe, sometimes with no sauce, sometimes with other vegetables. The most common variant in Greece may include zucchini, part-fried potatoes or sautéed mushrooms in addition to the eggplant. In Lebanon, moussaka is a vegetarian dish made of layers of eggplants, chickpeas and tomatoes. I love making moussaka, it's one of my favorite comforting food, I love the layers of fragrant meat sauce, the soft eggplant and the cheesy bechamel sauce that just seem to melt in your mouth.



Ingredients (serves 4):
3 medium eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb (500g) ground beef or lamb
2 onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup plum tomatoes, pureed
3 tsp dried oregano
pinch of allspice
1/2 tsp cumin

Bechamel sauce:
5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
3 1/2 cups warm milk
salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup grated cheese

Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Salt both sides and let stand in a colander set over the sink for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry.

Brush the eggplant slices lightly on both sides with olive oil and run them under the broiler on an ungreased cookie sheet until lightly browned and soft. Remove and set aside to cool. (You can also steam them for 10 mn).

For the meat filling, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook until brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, allspice and cumin. Simmer until liquid has reduced, about 30 minutes. Add the oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the flour and whisk heavily until combined. Add the warm milk, little by little, whisking until the sauce thickens. Add the grated cheese and continue to whisk until melted. Add the nutmeg and season with salt.

To assemble, layer the bottom of a baking dish with the eggplant slices. Spread with half the meat mixture. Add another layer of eggplant slices and spread with the remaining meat mixture. Cover with remaining eggplant slices. Spread with the béchamel sauce. Bake from 40 mn at 350ºC (180ºC)



Moussaka 

Ingrédients (4 personnes): 
3 aubergines de taille moyenne 
3 càs d'huile d'olive 
500 g de boeuf ou d'agneau haché 
2 oignons, hachés 
2 gousses d'ail, hachées 
60 ml de vin blanc 
1 boite de purée de tomate 
3 càc d'origan séché 
une pincée de quatre-épices 
1/2 càc de cumin

Béchamel: 

70 g beurre 
70 g farine 
825 ml de lait chaud 
sel 
pincée de muscade 
80g de fromage râpé 

Coupez les aubergines dans le sens de la longueur (1 cm d'épaisseur). Salez des deux côtés et laissez dégorger dans une passoire, pendant au moins 30 minutes. Rincez et séchez.
Badigeonnez les tranches d'aubergine légèrement des deux côtés avec de l'huile d'olive. Déposez-les sur une plaque et passez-les sous le gril du four jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient légèrement dorées et tendres. Retirez et laissez refroidir. (Vous pouvez aussi les faire cuire à la vapeur pendant 10 mn).
 
Pour la viande, faites chauffer l'huile dans une poêle à feu moyen. Ajoutez l'oignon et l'ail et faites suer environ 5 minutes. Ajoutez la viande et laissez cuire jusqu'à coloration, environ 5 à 10 minutes. Ajoutez le vin, la purée de tomates, les 4-épices et le cumin. Laissez mijoter environ 30 minutes. Ajoutez l'origan. Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre.
Pour la sauce béchamel, faites fondre le beurre dans une casserole, puis ajoutez la farine et fouettez. Versez le lait chaud petit à petit en fouettant jusqu'à ce que la sauce s'épaississe. Ajoutez le fromage râpé et continuez à fouetter jusqu'à ce que le fromage fonde. Ajouter la muscade et assaisonnez avec le sel. 

Pour le montage, placez une couche d'aubergines dans le fond d’un plat à gratin, puis la moitié de la viande en sauce. Ajoutez une autre couche d'aubergines puis une couche de viande. Disposez une dernière couche d'aubergines et nappez le tout de sauce béchamel. Placez le plat au four et faites le cuire pendant 30 minutes à 180°C.

42 comments:

  1. I love the creaminess of Moussaka and the contrast with the earthy vegetable flavors. Yours looks delicious! What kind of cheese do you use in your bechamel?

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  2. Love the Moussaka recipe! Looks Delicious!!! :)

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  3. How lovely! It's been far too long since I had Moussaka. I'm so glad you reminded me how much I love it! :-)

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  4. Oh my goodness it looks comforting and delicious! I can't wait to try it!

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  5. A truly comforting and addictive Greek dish! I just dare to do once in a LONG while.

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  6. Hello Nadia, I used the Emmental cheese!

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  7. Mouthwatering!!! Moussaka is one of my favorite dishes...A Greek chef taught me how to do it in Buenos Aires. Yours is sublime!

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  8. mmmm... I can't wait to be in Greece in two weeks eating moussaka!

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  9. That is one perfect looking moussaka. Yum!

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog, you've got such a beautiful space here yourself.

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  11. Oh that looks so delicious! I love your photos, very tempting indeed. Nice blog you have here!

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  12. I like moussaka too. This looks really delicious and comforting.

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  13. Cherine, this looks perfect. I love mousakka and would love to have a taste of this. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  14. Look at that gorgeous cheesy top. I adore Greek food and this would be a perfect dish for dinner. Your photos have my mouth watering.

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  15. Cherine, very well done! It's one of faves too and looks like you've mastered it.

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  16. Cherine, love eggplant, therefore will definitely go for it :-) YUMMIE!

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  17. wow i've never heard of moussaka before, but it sounds really good. I've actually never cooked eggplant before! I had it in China though and loved it.

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  18. Oh yum, definitely my kind of meal. Looks so delicious.

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  19. Cherine

    Ta description de la moussaka m'a déjà mis l'eau
    `a la bouche!

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  20. Yummy, that looks delicious. I first ate moussaka when I was a strict vegetarian. It was on my holiday in Greece and I had no idea it contained meat. I guess it was the best meal I had during that 'meat-avoiding' period of my life... :) Petra

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  21. Wow! I've never had authentic Greek moussaka before - it looks wonderful.

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  22. I love moussaka ... and yours looks excellent.

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  23. ta moussaka met l'eau à la bouche, j'adore ça avec de la bonne béchamel hmmmm

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  24. I luuuuuuv moussaka, it's my favorite Greek food. I never done it...(a bit scared of the eggplant) But your recipe seems simple enough... and looks amazing.

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  25. Moussaka is my FAVORITE greek dish. I haven't had it in so long because I can never find it in Southern California.

    I'm so happy you posted this, so I can now make it myself!

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  26. Wow, this has some of my favorite things all rolled into one delish dish. I'm growing eggplants this year--I'll have to bookmark this to try. Thanks for posting. :-)

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  27. Lovely moussaka! This is the ultimate comfort food Greek style.

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  28. C,
    Your moussaka looks fantastic....I love those white stoneware baking dishes, are they Emile Henry? I have to have them!

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  29. I haven't had Moussaka in so long! Yours looks incredible Chicho!

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  30. I've never had Moussaka, but you make it look absolutely delicious. And your photos are gorgeous too.

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  31. Your presentation is gorgeous, it make me drool every time I come to visit.

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  32. Oh quelle belle moussaka, j'en fais rarement, mais ta recette me plait beaucoup! ca me donne faim du coup!

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  33. I love eggplants and this Moussaka seems to be just what I love for this hot season! Great recipe, thanks for sharing :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

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  34. The surface has a wonderful color, the consistency makes me hungry!

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  35. I've never made moussaka, but every time I see it, I realize I should! You've inspired me again.

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  36. This is almost exactly the same way that I make mine! Absolutely the best ever moussaka!

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  37. I love moussaka and have never tried making it at home. This looks like a wonderful recipe with a light hand on the sauce to let the eggplant really shine. Terrific!

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  38. This is the only meat dish I miss - yours looks soooo inviting

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  39. Hum... Elle a l'air délicieuse ta moussaka!!

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  40. That moussaka looks so good!

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