For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

June 5, 2011

Easy Does It 

After a rather depressive dry period food-wise, I got back up on the saddle and decided to indulge myself and my loved ones with a delicious time consuming treat. I've always been a loyal supporter and a great fan of slow food. For me, preparing dishes with time, love and care all the way from scratch is art and the purest of pleasures. It pains me to notice that people are more and more reluctant to wait, take it easy and let cooking take the time it needs. How infuriating to find recipes that jump over crucial twists in preparation only to save a couple of minutes! No, no, that stuff isn't for me. There are no shortcuts in my kitchen. My philosophy is: East does it. Once you do it – you do it right.

As it had been a while since my previous cooking endeavour and as I really wanted to remedy my culinary withdrawal symptoms with a heavy dose of cooking, I specifically searched for a challenging recipe that I hadn't already done all the way from the beginning to the final end result. On top of that, I also had to empty my freezer before moving out from my flat, so I decided to work with what I've got. 500 grams of minced meat guided my choice of dish: Moussaka! Perfect! My expectation were sky high because the first and only moussaka I've ever had is my Brother's to-die-for, super tasty, rich and moist moussaka that I ate many years ago. How to top that? Tough one. I was delighted to rise to the challenge.

What I love about recipes like this one is that you actually have to plan the cooking in several stages and divid it onto several days. Like all dishes prepared in the oven, also the moussaka only gets better if you let it be for one to two days. Knowing this, even though it was 11PM of a Saturday night and too late to go to the supermarket for all ingredients, I decided to begin my project. I had the meat and crushed tomatoes. I even decided to sacrifice a splash of the red wine that I was romantically sipping, watching old Sex In The City episodes in bed. I have to say that I was pretty amused by finding myself right there, like that, on a Saturday night and honestly being happy about it. I mean why not, what's better than staying in with moussaka on your mind! By midnight my minced meat filling was filling the apartment with a heavenly smell. Damn th egreeks were smart when they thought of using cinnamon with meat. Efharistó! I let the thick sauce cool down, I brushed my teeth, washed my faced and crawled in bed with a content little smile on my face.

The next day intimidated due to the gluten-free béchamel I had to make among other things, I couldn't help but call out for back-up. My adorable food loving boyfriend wasn't hard to convince, he came right over to offer me his help. Also my flatmate was lured into the kitchen. The pressure was on and many things had to be done simultaneously. I have to admit that it was pretty hard to delegate as I'm quite of a kitchen control freak. I think I did a good job though. Cooking not only gives my enormous pleasure but also develops my people skills!

After a couple of hours the kitchen was a mess and there was béchamel everywhere. At least the task list was under control:

• Heating up and finalizing the seasoning of the meat filling: check

• Pealing and draining the eggplants: check

• Gluten-free béchamel: check

• Grating the cheese: check

• Coating the eggplants with egg and breadcrumbs and pre-baking them: check

The assembling of the moussaka was up next. Layer for layer it started to resemble the real thing. With my mouth watering, it was almost painful to know that the dish still had to go into the oven for one hour or so... Patience, Edith, patience. I resisted the temptation and was left with a feeling of immense joy that the process had given me. The satisfaction only grew when I thought that the best was yet to come. Absolutely fantastic! An important rule is to let the moussaka (or any other oven dish for that matter) rest for at least 30 minutes after you take it out from the oven before serving it. Again, don't hurry! Otherwise it won't be as good as it could be.

One and a half hours later, the delight was crispy, golden brown and ready to be eaten. Greasy as hell, but oh so divine!

1 comment:

  1. Hej kära Edith!! Hoppas allt är fint med dig! Saknar dig. Hoppas ett nytt inlägg hammnar på din blogg snart! :) Puss och kram /Elin


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