Monday, 20 December 2010

Moussaka madness

Today I decided to make Moussaka for the first time.  We ate the most wonderful one in Kefalonia where our hotelier Stavos's Mamma made it.  She seemed to spend most of her time in the kitchen so really I should have been warned.
I went for the vegetarian option with green lentils.  I thought, 'oh it will be like making lasagne'.  

Luckily, I thought I'd get a headstart and make it early to get it in the slow cooker before tackling the ever expanding Christmas To Do list.  Thank goodness I did because it took me all ruddy day to make it.  And I chose the recipe from an alleged 'easy' book which usually delivers on its promise.  Unusually for me I had read the ingredient list and had everything, but I didn't read the instructions. 

First: cook onions & garlic, add lentils, tomatoes & tasty stuff.  Cook for ONE hour.  Yep, failed to read this bit.
Second: slice & soak Aubergines (eggplant if any Northern Americans are reading) in salt for 3 minutes.
Third: peel potatoes & boil whole.
Fourth: chop mushrooms.  skipped this stage as Tintin doesn't like them & I was bored by now.
Fifth: wash Aubergines, pat dry (harump) and fry the living daylights out of them.
Six: Are you still here??  Layer aubergines, lentil mix a couple of times. 
Seven: slice potatoes on top.  Oh what, they boiled into mush?  Just wing it and pretend you can cut the moosh and attempt to get them on top.

I was soo p**d off by now, I was ready to pretend it was a casserole & serve it with rice.  Sadly I had announced my intentions so had to soldier on.

Eight: melt mountain of butter with token smattering of flour. 
Nine: Warm milk in yet another pan.
Ten: Add milk to butter melt.  Forget to stir like crazy. Strain through sieve and start again.  Stir like crazy.
Eleven: Realise this recipe doesn't put cheese in the sauce that I so adore.  Its why I wanted to make it in the first place.  Grate cheese and add it anyway.
Twelve: separate 2 Eggs. put whites aside to make peppermint creams with kids/husband to knock over side* (*delete as you see fit)
Thirteen: Still with me. Shhesh. I wasn't.  At this stage I was getting seriously grumpy. Also Bini announces that she's poorly and starts being sick.  Not in the kitchen I hasten to add. One less  for dinner.  Anyway, add the wretched eggs to the cooling sauce,
Fourteen: Pour the sauce on top of the moussaka and throw it in the oven in disgust.
Fifteen: Get husband to trudge through the snow to buy some garlic bread because I was fed up of cooking.
Sixteen: Go nuture ailing babe.

At this point for the first time in my ahem illustrious cooking career that I was hoping for negative reviews.  I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE THIS AGAIN!
Oh My.  It looked and tasted Wonderful.  It played to rave reviews, even the difficult audience of 'I don't think I'll like this, Mummy.'  Dammit.


  1. ;-)) Bless you, its made my mouth water looks yummy i love Moussaka and being a vegetarian myself even more so. Your have to make it again now ;-) Have a lovely christmas. Dee x

  2. wooohooo ! well done you ! I used to soak & salt & press aubergine & courgette for ratatouille but..... can't be bothered now !
    When I was a nanny abroad, my boss used to make eggplant parmegana ? for a starter - I couldn't stand it !!

    Now you askd about the entertainment value of Mini Dinosaurs... having had one of those blasted expencive ones that did nothing but scare the dog, real ones give far more value. The sound they make & fuss about it while laying an egg is very amusing as is watching them strut around showing off afterwards.

    Trying to catch them when they do not want to be caught is exhausting & would keep a small boy exercised plus good tactic making & team work skills employed.

    Once caught & cuddled would keep small boys quiet for hours - they would be too scared of the huge claws to move ! plus watching a mini dinosaur fall asleep is very amusing as their eyelids close from bottom to top. Hopefully small boys would be hypnotised by then.

    When can I deliver them ? but there is a catch ... you have to have the inlaws too as I've just found they are staying two days longer than I thought AAARRGGGHHH !

    Want to meet for a very long walk as I am going to have to get out of this house !!!

  3. It does look delicious, looks like it will be on the menu again, but make sure you've got a free day next time you make it.