mmmmmoussaka

I lived on a tiny island in Greece for 4 years…this was my backyard

Omorfi! In addition to my phenomenal view I also had an amazing adopted Yaya (grandma) who was constantly stuffing me full of delicious Greek delicacies. I’d join her in the kitchen, when she’d allow it, in an attempt to learn some of her culinary secrets…

and so without further ado, here’s my teensy-bit-lower-fat version of Yaya’s Moussaka

Ingredients: 1 aubergine (a.k.a: eggplant), 1 zucchini, 1 – 2 onions, 8 cherry tomatoes, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, olive oil, 500g minced beef (or lamb), 1 can mushrooms, sea salt, 2 tbsp tomato paste, grated cheese & a 300ml pkg bechamel sauce (or make your own with the recipe at the bottom of this post)

quarter the aubergine & slice into 1cm-ish pieces

place in a colander & sprinkle with sea salt

chop the zucchini into 1cm-ish pieces

add to the aubergine colander, sprinkle with sea salt & set aside for 10 – 15 mins

dice the onion(s) & garlic

brown the meat, onions & garlic in a large, heavy-based pot

chop up the tomatoes, drain the mushrooms & add to the beef mixture along with the tomato paste, cinnamon & nutmeg…remove from heat & set aside for now

*I also like to add a pinch or three of Krauter der Provence – a herb & spice mixture made up of rosemary, thyme, bohnenkraut, marjoram, basil & oregano

rinse the zucchini & aubergine under cold water

lay flat & pat dry with paper towel

heat up a non-stick frying pan, add some olive oil & fry up the zucchini & aubergine pieces

grab an ovenproof baking dish & arrange a layer of zucchini & aubergine on the bottom

add a layer of the meat mixture

open the package of bechamel sauce & drizzle a layer on top of the meat mixturecontinue layering & drizzling until your dish is full – or you run out of ingredients

top with your fave grated cheese

bake at 180C/350F/Gasmark 4 for 50 minutes – until golden brown & bubbling

remove from the oven & serve…

para poli yefstiko!

Easy peasy bechamel sauce:

5og butter, 50g flour, 400ml milk, 1 tsp nutmeg, 25g grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan & add the flour, cook for a few seconds then slowly whisk in the milk. Add the cheese & nutmeg. Simmer for 5 – 7 minutes…all done!

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