Moussaka: Mediterranean shepherd’s pie

TRADITIONAL FLAVOUR IN ONE TASTY DISH

If you’re tired of the same old recipes for dinner, you’ll love this spin on the classic shepherd’s pie. A mouthwatering combination of eggplant, ground beef and béchamel makes this dish a meal the whole family will enjoy. Pop this platter into the oven for a quick Mediterranean meal any night of the week. The best part is you’ll likely have leftovers for the next day!

Moussaka: Mediterranean Shepherd's Pie | Sheknows.ca

Moussaka

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggplants
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash the eggplants, and slice them into 1- to 2-inch slices.
  3. Place the eggplant slices onto a greased baking sheet, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden, flipping them over after 10 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven, place them on cooling rack, and lower the heat to 350 degrees F.
  5. In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the ground meat along with the cinnamon, basil, salt and pepper. Once the meat is browned, add the tomato sauce and wine. Reduce heat, and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. In a saucepan, add the butter and flour. Using a whisk, cook the mixture for 5 minutes on medium heat before adding the milk and cheese. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat while continuing to whisk as the sauce thickens.
  7. In a greased casserole dish, place half the eggplants to create a layer (think lasagna). Spread the meat sauce over the eggplants to form another even layer. Add another layer of eggplant, and top it off by pouring the béchamel sauce, covering it completely.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.

More Greek recipes

Kopanisti: Feta and red pepper dip
Chicken soup: Avgolemono
Loukoumades: Honey donuts

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http://www.sheknows.ca/food/articles/961227/moussaka-recipe

Recipe revamp: Pastitsio… or Greek lasagna

SAVOURY GOODNESS IN EVERY SERVING

Tired of the same old recipes for dinner? Switch things up with this Greek version of lasagna. Forgo the tomatoes for this one — béchamel sauce goes a long way in this meaty casserole.

Pastitsio: Greek lasagna | Sheknows.ca

Traditionally the Greek version blends a bit of tomato sauce into the ground meat mixture. But for this recipe, we’re going the Cypriot route and omitting the tomato.

Pastitsio

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Greek macaroni pasta (or penne if you don’t have a Greek market nearby)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 litre warmed homogenized milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup Greek Mizithra (or Romano) cheese, grated
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Salt, pepper and cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot, pour the chicken stock, and add enough water to boil the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, but keep the water-chicken stock mixture, and set it aside.
  3. Mix together the pasta, 2/3 cup of olive oil and half a cup of grated cheese. Spread in a smooth layer into a casserole dish.
  4. In a pot or Dutch oven on medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onions until translucent (about 2 minutes), then add the parsley, ground meat and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Brown the meat thoroughly, then turn off the heat. Spread a layer of the meat mixture on top of the pasta.
  6. In a separate pot on medium to high heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the flour, and whisk for a couple of minutes. Next, stir in the milk and egg. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock, and whisk the sauce until it begins to boil. Lower the heat, add half a cup of cheese, and continue to whisk until the béchamel is thick and creamy. If needed, add more flour to thicken it.
  7. When the sauce is thick enough that it sticks to your whisk, remove it from heat, and pour it over the meat in the casserole dish in a smooth layer. Garnish with cinnamon, and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

More pasta recipes

Recipe revamp: Pasta salad
Meatless Monday: Super-greens pesto pasta
Creamy orzo with peas and asparagus

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http://www.sheknows.ca/food/articles/961241/pastitsio-greek-lasagna-recipe

Chicken soup: Avgolemono

A WHOLESOME GREEK SOUP

A twist on the classic chicken soup, this traditional egg-lemon-based soup is a village favourite in the Mediterranean.

Chicken soup avgolemono | Sheknows.ca

Avgolemono

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 2- to 4-pound whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 cup arborio rice or orzo
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the onions, cooking them until they are clear, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside until later.
  2. In a large pot, place the chicken, and cover it entirely with water. Add the carrots, bay leaf, celery and garlic clove. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Skim the top as needed.
  3. When the chicken is cooked through — approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour — remove everything from the broth. Let the chicken cool before separating the meat from the bones and shredding it.
  4. Add the rice (or orzo) to the broth, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer until al dente. Add the onions into the broth, with more water if need be.
  5. In a small bowl, beat together the lemon juice and eggs. Pour 2 cups of broth slowly into the bowl, whisking continuously to avoid cooking the eggs. Once all the broth has been added, pour the mixture into the pot of broth, and stir well. Sprinkle in salt and pepper while blending all together.

NOTE:

Traditionally this soup is served without the chicken, but feel free to toss it back in. Or turn it into another meal, and make club sandwiches.

More chicken recipes

Roasted chicken recipe
Indian food: Butter chicken recipe
Recipe revamp: Sloppy Joes

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http://www.sheknows.ca/food/articles/961117/chicken-soup-avgolemono-recipe