Tag Archives: Onions

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.

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Thai Quinoa balls & Spicy Thai Cashew dipsauce

(ca 40 stk)

Ingredients:
2 dl quinoa + 4 dl water + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small yellow onion, chopped nicely
2 celeriac, nicely chopped
a wee bit salt
1 large tablespoon red thai currypaste
1 large handfull of coriander / cilantro nicely chopped
3 tablespoons chickpeaflour (Grams)

  • Boil the quinoa in water with salt for 20 minuts. Low heat with lid on. The quinoa should become completely soft and all water to be cooked in.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, warm some oil in a frying pan. Fry the onion and celeriac until golden / brown. salt.
  • Add the pre-cooked Quinoa in a baking bowl. Add the onionmix, currypaste and parsley. Mix until a dough.
  • Add chickpeaflour and work it into the dough. Let rest for 15 minutes

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  • Shape small, round, balls- Oil the frying pan so that it covers the bottom and warm. Fry the quinoaballs until golden and crusty all over. let the extra oil soak into a papercloth before serving.

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  • Test first with one, if it doesnt stick together, add more flour and try again.

server with
Noodles, Asparges, Sunflower sprouts or other beansprouts. Sesameoil

spicy thai dipsaus

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Spicy Thai Cashew dipsauce

Ingredients:

2 dl unsalted cashewnuts, finely grounded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small finely chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soysauce
2 dl water
2 tablespoons red thai curry paste
1 squeese lime juice of taste

1. Start with grounding the cashews in a food processor. They should be like flour.
2. Warm the oil in a cooking pan. Add onion and garlic and fry until golden brown.
3. Turn down to middle heat and remove pan from the warm plate. Add the grounded nuts, sugar and soy sauce. Blend well and cook for a minute constantly stirring. Careful with the heat. It should not burn.
4. Add water, currypaste and a squeese ime juice. Blend well and let boild on low heat for 20 minuts until sauce has thickened. Stirr every now and then.
5. To assure a smooth sauce, blend with a stave mixer until smooth.

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* Sauce will stay fresh for as many as 5 days in the fridge.

Avocado & Mango Quinoa Sushi

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 – 8 rolls

Serving Size: 1 – 2 rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 sushi rolling mat
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon organic rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 nori (seaweed) sheets
  • 1 ripe mango, cut into thin slices
  • 4 – 5 romain leaves
  • 3 green onions, greens removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 small carrots, julienned
  • Gluten-free soy sauce & wasabi paste for dipping

Instructions

  1. First prepare you quinoa. Add 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. When the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is nice an fluffy, add the rice vinegar, ginger and salt. Toss well to combine. Let the quinoa cool completely in the fridge while you prepare your filling ingredients.
  2. To assemble the rolls, lay the sushi rolling mat flat on a table or cutting board. Place one sheet of nori on the mat, shiny side down. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the quinoa onto the nori and with wet hands, spread it out into a thin layer over the nori, leaving about a 1 inch band uncovered along the edge farthest from you.
  3. Lay the romaine leaves down first, then top with avocado, mango, carrots, and scallions. Lift the edge of the mat that is closest to you with your thumbs, holding the filling ingredients in place with your middle fingers. Roll the mat over the ingredients, pulling back and tightening it after each rollover. Wet the uncovered edge and roll through. Gently squeeze the rolled mat around the nori roll and remove from the mat.
  4. Slice with a sharp wet knife and serve with gluten-free soy sauce and wasabi paste.

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Courtsey of Simply Quinoa

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Yield: makes 12 sliders (but also depends on the size of your buns)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup freshly grated provolone cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 multigrain slider buns or dinner rolls
2 avocados, sliced for topping
1/2 cup chipotle mayo, for topping

Directions:

Add quinoa and stock to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes or until can be fluffed with a fork. You can do this ahead of time or even the night before (and store quinoa in the fridge) so the quinoa can cool.

While quinoa is cooking, slice the green onions, chop the carrots, mince the garlic and grate the cheese. Place it all in a bowl, then add panko and mix. Coarsely chop the chickpeas and add to the bowl. One quinoa is finished cooking, add it to the bowl and mix well until incorporated. If needed, let cool or place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool. Add in beaten egg + egg white, salt, pepper and mix well. Form into patties (I really squeezed a handful of quinoa together and smoothed it into a round, it may take some squeezing and form to get the patties to stick) that fit the size of the buns you have. <- this will differ!

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add 5-6 quinoa patties and cook until deeply golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Gently flip and cook 5 minutes more. Remove and continue with remaining olive oil and patties. Serve with sliced avocado chipotle mayo!

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Courtesy of How Sweet it is

Thanksgiving Creamed Corn

Original recipe makes 15 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 packages (20 ounce – 550 grams in total) frozen or canned corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Bacon grease
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth.
  • Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add corn; heat through.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until corn is very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Add cream and sugar; simmer, uncovered, until cream has thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot..Optional
  • Broil 5 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

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Healthy Chicken Beet Salad

I have never been a huge fan of neither salads or soups before. When I was a child I disliked them so much that I even bet with my mom that the cauliflower soup tasted so bad that even the cat wouldn’t want it. She was provoked by my behavior certain the cat wouldn’t want the soup so she allowed the cat to drink from the soup, where I triumphantly exclaimed; HA! Now I can’t eat from it, as I can’t eat from the same food that the cat ate from. Needless to say I was sent from the table without more food that night.

Salads were even worse. That was rabbit food. I can still hear my fathers words over the dinner table. No way I’m gonna eat that. That’s food for rabbits! – Poor mom. How was she to convince two kids to learn to like salads when their father was so opposed to it.

However, lately I have started getting a taste for both of them and I have discovered it has ALL to do with the ingredients of the salads. I have certain salads I still don’t fancy at all, but when I make them with the ingredients I do like. They turn out delicious!

My fav. salads are the Feld Salad (french) and the Radicchio Rosso Salad (Italian)
–  Use 100 grams of each (or 50 grams of each if you prefer to have less green leaves :D)

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Other Ingredients:

B008OFKM42_11 BIG or several small Red Beets
1 can of Chick Peas
1 Salad Onion or regular Onion cut in small pieces or thin slices to your liking
1 Red Sweet Pepper (Paprika) cut in 2 x1 cm long pieces
1/2 Cucumber cut in cubes
50 grams of Sweat Peas cut in 4 parts each
2 -3 tomatoes cut in cubes
1 can of Corn including the juice from the can

If you are a vegetarian this is it and if you enjoy some good meat you can add
2 – 300 grams of precooked and pre cut chicken .

Blend well and top with
50 grams Nuts / Seeds
Heinz Curry Mango Sauce
Lemon Juice from one lemon

This is a really great salad and feeds 5-6 people if this is your main course and 10-12 if used as an appetizer.

Enjoy!

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Turkey Day leftover Soup

After a huge Turkey meal there are always leftovers.
Today I decided to cook these up into a huge soup.

Ingredients:

3 Large Sweet Potatoes
7 Large Root Parsley
7 Normal Sized Carrots
3 Stick Celery
Celeriac (can be dropped if you are allergic)

3 Single Clove Garlic
1 Red Onion
2 Yellow Onions

1 Can of Chickpeas
2 Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
3 Small Cans of  Tomato Puree

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Chop all the vegetables into 1×3 cm sized chunks (or to your own preference) and add to the casserole.

Leftover Turkey – Minimum 1 kg, but use whatever you have.

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  Add Spices
Salt, Pepper, Chili, Herbs (I do not specify any in particular here because it depends on what I have in the cabinet, but I always have Oregano and Basil as a minimum). I also chose to add some hot sauces for taste. You don’t have to!

Let the Soup Slow Cook for 2 hours!

Its a real Treat!
This amount of soup should be enough for 10-15 people and whatever is not eaten day 1 or 2 is perfect to freeze in portion sized Tupperware boxes and bring to work or school for lunch!

Sweet Potato Beet Soup

Some years ago I was in California visiting family where I was asked to make a beet soup from a recipe out of a magazine. Of course I never saved this recipe, but lately I have been thinking about that soup and not remembering all the ingredients I decided that I just make up a recipe. It turned out quite well and it both taste and look delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 table spoons of Olive Oil (I used Olive Oil with Basil taste, but regular olive oil tastes just as good)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 5 medium size Beets
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 big SweetPotato
  • 1/4 celeriac
  • 1 Single Clove Garlic (or 4 cloves of garlic)

Cut the ingredients in small (carrots) and big pieces (all the other) and throw them all in a casserole (ca. 4 litres) with enough water to cover them. Cook until all of them are soft (almost 30 minutes).

Once all the vegetables are soft use an Immersion (stick) blender to mash them. Add salt and pepper as well as other spices (chili) for taste.

Serve with 1 tablespoon of SourCream or Creme Fraiche per serving. Mix with Soup and add Basil for decoration :)