Moussaka

Every now and again we like to try something different in the kitchen. And as Trinidadians, due to our multicultural society, we embrace other cultures and cooking quite readily. I remember thumbing through international recipe books but being daunted when the recipe called for some foreign herb or ingredient that we didn’t have in the Caribbean. But being an innovative cook by nature that wasn’t a problem. Long time, when the recipe called for oregano or dill, I would substitute with chadon beni and chive. In the end the recipe didn’t come out exactly as in the book, but it sure did taste good.

Now, these herbs are available in the supermarket and the recipes could be made as how it should but I’ve gotten used to how I made it with the local herbs so much that I prefer to make it that way. One such recipe, I was introduced to by my wife, is Moussaka, I believe this dish is Greek in origin but has now become Trini in my kitchen… if you know what I mean. The first thing that attracted me to moussaka was the baigan (melongene, aubergine); that we have lots of in Trinidad. Of course we have the other ingredients like the potato etc., but the herbs and other cheeses, well that’s where I started to “trini style” it up a bit. So if you are looking for another melongene recipe you can add this one to your list. After all, most Trinidadians only have a limited knowledge to cook melongene: we either stew it, fry it, roast it, or curry it, and serve it with rice or roti. A little more variety is good. So now you can bake it with other ingredients and make moussaka.

I must say though, I was set up. I never knew you could add meat to the dish; after all this time my wife hid this from me, because she knows how much of a “meat mouth” I really am. That being said, I see the future of mousaka in my house being a little meaty ;-). Today though, I will be posting a vegetarian type moussaka but, by all means add your favourite meat if you like be it chicken, pork, beef or even agouti ha ha.

 

Moussaka and lettuce

MOUSSAKA

1 baigan or melongene

3 potatoes

4 tsp. butter

2 tbsp. oil

1 small onion

1 pimento

1½ cups milk

2 tsp. white flour

1 can bake beans

2 cloves garlic

4 tomatoes

1½ cup cheese

add favorite seasoning

 

Peel and slice melongene and potato.
Place in a deep heavy pot and fry together in 1 teaspoon butter
and oil for about 10 minutes on a low flame.
Stir occasionally to prevent the melongene and potato from sticking.
(No need to overcook, remember it will be baked later.)
To Prepare White Sauce
Melt 3 teaspoon butter in a deep pot. Stir in the flour. Add the milk.
Stir until the sauce thickens.

 

Finely chop the onion, garlic and pimento and saute in butter.

 

Add the tomatoes.
Then add the baked beans.
Place half of the melongene and potato in a cooking dish.
Layer with the sauce and the peas.
Sprinkle cheese and
continue with the next set of layer.

Bake for about 1 hour in a 400°F oven.
MoussakaThe moussaka is done. Leave it to cool before serving.

Well, that’s it for another post. See you later, until then, bye!

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4 Responses to Moussaka

  1. Ivy August 31, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    Hi, I found you through Foodbuzz and thanks for the friend request. I am glad that you’ve made your version of moussakas which is great and food is all about flavours we can find and like. Surely there are a lot of products I see in recipes and cannot find in Greece as well and try to substitute with something close to it. In Greece, we also make a vegetarian moussakas with mushrooms instead of ground meat and it’s great. You should also try it with a bechamel cream on top which is the best part of the dish. I have a few eggplant recipes in my blog if you like to experiment:
    http://kopiaste.org/2007/11/moussakas/
    http://kopiaste.org/?s=papoutsakia
    http://kopiaste.org/2008/01/melitzanosalata-or-eggplant-salad/
    http://kopiaste.org/2008/08/spicy-baked-eggplants/
    http://kopiaste.org/2008/07/melitzanes-giahni-aubergines-or-eggplants-in-tomato-sauce/
    Hope you’ll enjoy them.

  2. simplytrinicooking.com October 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    I did enjoy the posts. wish I could taste the myzithra cheese.

  3. Foodaholic May 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    I tried Moussaka many years ago, and I did not love it. This one looks different though. It looks very delicious. I think it’s time to try it again. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Mandy Bennett October 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I enjoy different recipes from your blog. I’ve tried the ox tail soup (put my own spin of it of course and it was really good, even to my picky child!) among other dishes.
    Thnx
    Mandy
    http://mandyjbennett.blogspot.com

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