Tag Archives: All Purpose Flour

Moussaka – Classic Greek Moussaka with Eggplant

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.

It is perhaps the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes and was made famous by the legendary Greek chef, Nicholas Tselementes.

This eggplant version is the traditional rendition, however you can also layer in potatoes, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you prefer.  It’s hearty and filling so you won’t need many side dishes.

While it can be time consuming to prepare, I think you will find that once complete it is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggplants, about 4 lbs. total
  • 2 lb. potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or lamb)
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve yolks for bechamel)
  • 1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk, warmed
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Prep the Vegetables:
Using a sharp peeler, partially peel the eggplants, leaving strips of peel about 1 inch wide around the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch slices. 
Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally. The salt also helps to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant.
Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar. 
Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out. 
They will need to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably an hour. 

Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch. 
Drain, cool and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly grease.  Add a splash of water to the egg whites and beat them lightly with a fork.  Add breadcrumbs to a flat plate.

Rinse the eggplant slices and dry with paper towels.  Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg whites and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides.  Place breaded eggplant slices on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 an hour, turning them over once during cooking.

When eggplant is finished cooking, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Make the Meat Filling:

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef (or lamb) until the pink color disappears.  Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add wine to pan and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. It should be a drier, chunkier, tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. 

Make the Béchamel Sauce:

Melt butter over low heat.  Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste.  Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.

Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously.

Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in beaten egg yolks and pinch of nutmeg.  Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens.

Assemble the Moussaka:

Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan).  Sprinkle the bottom of pan with breadcrumbs.  Leaving a 1/4 inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. 
Top with a layer of eggplant slices.

Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese.
Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan.  Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. 

Allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

You can make this dish ahead up until the béchamel sauce and refrigerate.  Make the béchamel sauce right before you intend to bake it.

I originally found this recipe at About.com Greek Food.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Bananabread with Dark Chocolate

Ingredients (5 persons)

100 g room tempered butter
1 dl white sugar
2 room tempered egg
2 riped bananas
4 dl all purpose flour
0.75 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanillasugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
200 grams dark chocolate 70%

Directions:
1. Whip tempered butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix well. Whip one and one egg into the buttercream.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a different bowl. Blend carefully the dry ingredients into the buttercream. Mash the bananas with a fork or a mixer depending on texture. Add banana and nicely chopped chocolate into the dough with a spatula.

3. Bake the cake on lower level of the oven for 180 Celcius degrees for 50-60 minutter. Cake will be a bit soft when warm, it has to cool to set. This bananacake will stay fresh for many days if you wrap it well and keep in fridge.

bananaBread

bananaBread2

Quinoa Breadrolls

Ingredients:
◾200 grams boiled black quinoa
◾400 grams All purpose flour
◾50 grams buckwheat flour
◾50 grams sunflower seeds
◾1 teaspoon yiest
◾1 teaspoon salt
◾4 dl water (1 1/4 cup)

Directions:

Weigh all the ingredients. You can double and triple to recipe with great luck, just keep to the measurements.

If your quinoa is freshly cooked leave to raise for 60 minutes.

Use a spatula and scoop roll sized pieces of dough onto the cooking pan draped with baking paper . When you have 4×4 leave to raise for 30 minutes and cook for 12-15 minuts in 250 Celcius

3feb8

After 30 minutes split the dough in rolls with a knife like under.

3feb7

Pull the baking paper over to the now hot baking tray and lower temperature to 230Celcius degrees.

Cook  for 12-15 min. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve

19jan8

Christmas Traditions: Krumkaker

Krumkake is one of the original traditional 7 Christmas cookies to be served for Christmas each year in Norway.

They are baked in a special decorative two-sided iron griddle, similar to a waffle iron. While hot, the 13–20 cm krumkake are rolled into small cones around a wooden or plastic cone form. Krumkake can be eaten plain or filled with whipped cream (often Cloudberry Cream) or other fillings.

If you are allergic to chicken eggs, you can use egg-replacer or try duck eggs. I have tried that with success several times.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs (or equivalent of Egg-replacer)
  • 250 grams of sugar (2 cups)
  • 250 grams of melted butter
  • 250 grams of all purpose flour
  • 125 grams of potaoflour (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 3 dl heavy cream / Whipping cream / milk or water (water makes the cookies extra crunchy)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanillasugar

Directions:

Whip egg and sugar until light yellow and fluffy

Add melted butter (cooled down), cream / milk or water.

Use 1 tablespoon dough in the middle of the iron griddle and cook until golden.

Immediately roll onto a Krumkake-roller and form before cooling down.

Enjoy!

IMG_1331_thumb5

Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy

Holiday Gravy
50 grams of Butter
2 table spoons of All Purpose Flour (Wheat or Glutenfree as suits you best)
1 table spoon Maizena (Corn Starch) mixed with water until a smooth blend
Bullion
Broth (from the Greasy water below the Turkey)
Turkey Broth
Heavy Cream

How to Do
Melt the Butter and add the Flour. Stirr until it thickens.
Add the Maizena / Water mix.

Gravy: two TBSP white all purpose flour two TBSP butter. (Warm stock is added until you have the consistency you like.) In a large skillet, put the flour over a medium low heat and whisk until just turning brown. Add butter and continue to whisk the butter and flour together. Slowly add a 1/2 cup at a time of your warm stock. Continue to whisk. Keep adding stock a little at a time until you have reached desired consistency. At the end add a drop or two sherry. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper