Moussaka and Pastitio

It seems appropriate since yesterday I covered the concept of a roux and white sauce to post recipes today that builds on those concepts. Moussaka and Pastitio and two classic Greek is dishes both which use a bechamel sauce. A bechamel sauce is a white sauce to which eggs are added. Ack you say eggs in a white sauce don’t bad things happen?! Yes bad things can happen with bechamel sauces but super tasty things involve bechamel so we’re going to talk about how to avoid the bad things.

First and foremost the bad thing that can happen when trying to make bechamel is the eggs “curdle”. What’s that?! Well is the phenomena of big bits of scrambled eggs in your white sauce. This same issue can happen when making pudding from scratch and the same solution applies. Temper your eggs. Tempering means equalizing the temperature of the eggs with the item you’re combining them with. When I make a bechamel sauce I always make sure my eggs are at room temperature. This greatly decreases the chance they will “curdle” when I add the to the white sauce. I also slightly reduce the heat of the pan before I add the eggs.

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Now that you have some idea how to make a bechamel sauce you are ready to make either Moussaka or Pastitio. Moussaka is a Greek eggplant casserole with a bechamel sauce. Pastitio is a Greek noodle and meat casserole with a bechamel sauce. Below are my recipes for both.

Moussaka

  • 1 large Eggplant sliced and grilled
  • 1 pound ground lamb or lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Salt the eggplant slices and let rest for 2 hours so that they wilt and water comes of them. Drain water and grill
  2. In large skillet, cook meat onion and garlic until meat browns and garlic is tender
  3. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt
  4. Simmer 10 minutes
  5. Add one egg, combine and set aside
  6. In medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour and pepper until you have a roux
  7. Add 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir and cook until thickened
  8. Add two beaten eggs and half the parmesan cheese. Combine well
  9. Add remaining milk, egg, parmesan cheese.
  10. Grease 9 x 11 baking pan
  11. Layer grilled eggplant, meat mixture, then sauce
  12. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes
  13. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting

Pastitio

  • 1 large Eggplant sliced and grilled
  • 1 pound ground lamb or lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni cooked

 

  1. In large skillet, cook meat onion and garlic until meat browns and garlic is tender
  2. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt
  3. Simmer 10 minutes
  4. Add one egg, combine and set aside
  5. In medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour and pepper until you have a roux
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir and cook until thickened
  7. Add two beaten eggs and half the parmesan cheese. Combine well
  8. Add remaining milk, egg, parmesan cheese and macaroni noodles
  9. Grease 8 x 8 baking pan
  10. Layer half macaroni mixture, meat mixture, and remaining macaroni mixture
  11. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes
  12. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting

 

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