Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegetable Moussaka and a small problem

Lately we've had a tiny problem in this household.
You see, food keeps disappearing!
Not from the cupboards, but from the dinner table. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy that people enjoy my food, but today is the second time in a row I didn't manage to get a decent photo of a dish before it was gone. I managed to snatch a slice of aubergine with tomato and cheese and a spoon of sauce for todays picture but to be honest, this picture doesn't give full credit to this dish. Think silky smooth aubergine, sun ripe tomatoes, potatoes and white sauce, a little mustard and melted cheese on top.
Am I the only one drooling now?

Vegetable Moussaka

50g/2 oz green or brown lentils (I used red and it worked just fine.)
570ml/1 pint water
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
110g/¼lb mushrooms, wiped and chopped
2 - 3 tbsp tomato purée
2tsp dried oregano
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
350g/12 oz or 2 medium aubergines, washed and sliced
2 potatoes, scrubbed, boiled and sliced2 tomatoes, washed and sliced thickly

For the sauce:
20g/¾oz butter
1 tbsp flour
225ml/8fl oz milk
1 small egg
½ tsp mustard powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g/3oz grated cheddar cheese.

1. preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Pick the lentils over for sticks and stones, wash them thoroughly, then bring them to the boil in the water. Cover and simmer for 40 - 45 minutes or until they are soft.
3. When cooked, drain and reserve the liquid for stock.
4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic gently so that they remain translucent.
5. Then add the chopped mushrooms and cooked lentils and cook for a further few minutes, mixing well.
6. Remove the vegetables from the pan using a slotted spoon so that as much oil as possible is left in the frying pan.
7. Put the vegetables in a bowl and mix in a little stock, 2-3 tbsp of tomato puree and the oregano.
8. Season well with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then add a further 2 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and fry the aubergine slices until soft, turning them over constantly. (You may need a little extra oil for this.)
9. Put the slices onto a piece of kitchen paper to drain and let them cool.
10. Grease a 1.75L/3pt ovenproof dish and put in a layer of lentil and mushroom mixture, then a layer of aubergines, then of potato and tomato slices.
11. Next make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the roux for 2 - 3 minutes.
12. Pour on the milk and bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly.
13. Simmer for 5 minutes and then allow to cool.
14. Beat in the egg and season the sauce well with mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
15. Pour the sauce over the top of the casserole and sprinkle over the grated cheese.16. Bake for 40 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
Serve piping hot.

(From BBC Food)

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