Thursday, June 30, 2011

Moussaka & Flaky Egg Tarts

Moussaka originated in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Traditionally made with minced meat and cheese. It has been adapted by Sephardic Jews in the Mediterranean in two ways– either by omitting the cheese and béchamel sauce to make a meat moussaka, or by omitting the meat to make a vegetarian version. Like many ancient dishes, moussaka has a number of variations. Originally moussaka made from sliced aubergine (eggplant), meat, and tomatoes. Greeks cover the stew with a layer of béchamel sauce. You may played around with the recipe and create something that suit your taste buds and add your faourite flavor and texture. Really, there are no "laws" preventing creativity.
My moussaka is Greek-style, topped with rich and creamy béchamel sauce. Since it was a last minute decision I have no choice but to replace the keflagraviera cheese with parmesan cheese in this recipe. But still the flavor and texture was acceptable. This is an an easy dish to prepare but the process of preparation can be quite time consuming. Yes, I must admit that it was absolutely delicious and unbelievably easy to make. The end result is worth the efford.
Recipe from MasterChef: (Chef: Mary Calombaris)
3 eggplants, sliced 5mm thick
2-3 tablespoons salt
¼ cup olive oil
300g lamb mince
100g pork mince
100g veal mince
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
2 cinnamon quills
250g crushed tomatoes
400g tomato passata
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups water
Olive oil, for frying
4 large potatoes, sliced 5mm thick
Bechamel100g butter
100g plain flour
600ml full cream milk, warmed
100g keflagraviera cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
Extra keflagraviera cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C.

2. Lay eggplant over a shallow tray or dish and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cover with muslin or a clean chux and set aside for 30 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a large frying pan or saucepan, add lamb, pork and veal mince and cook until browned and meat breaks up. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic, oregano, lemon thyme, rosemary and cinnamon quills and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato passata, tomato paste and water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ½ hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour oil into a frying pan approximately 1cm deep, place over a high heat and shallow fry potatoes for 3-4 minutes on each side or until tender. Drain on paper towel.

6. Pat dry eggplant and pan fry on each side until golden yet still firm. Drain on paper towel.

7. For béchamel, melt butter in a heavy based saucepan. Add flour, stir over a low heat for 2 minutes.

8. Slowly add warm milk, stirring continuously until thick. Add extra milk if sauce is to thick.

9. Whisk in keflagraviera cheese and an egg yolk, season to taste.

10. To assemble, oil casserole dish and layer as follows. Meat sauce, potato, sauce, potato, sauce, eggplant, sauce, potato, eggplant and remaining sauce. Cover with béchamel and grate extra cheese over.

11. Bake for 45 minutes until browned and béchamel has set. Serve.

I've been trying to learn how to make a good chinese egg tarts that are common dim sum treats lately. I've been looking high and low for a good recipe that can give me a flaky crust which i believe the best egg tarts are make. Many internet and cook book recipes have a shortcrust type of dough which would taste fine but are not the same as the more authentic flaky crust. The flaky crust which i always stick on is adapted from Forbidden Garden. And I am pretty happy with it. A fresh, flaky egg tart with an impossibly wobbly and creamy custard centre with a cup of coffee after my moussaka dinner is just perfect.

Recipe please refer to my earlier post here.


  1. Jane, I love both recipes! Look so yummy I think best is serve when hot :)

  2. 我喜欢你几天的料理,很丰富:P

  3. Both look so tempting ! You also like frangipani huh, I have 2 trees, one yellow and one red ( no flower yet ).

  4. Moussaka很特别, 第一次看到。 那个蛋塔噢, 我也想做好像你这样的, 得空我也来试试, 好多食谱在排队了!

  5. Oh I love the Moussaka that George's Mum made in Masterchef.. She's very funny too!

  6. oi, move to sydney lah, then i don't have to "lau nua" Now i have to quickly order my pending egg tarts moulds to make this.

  7. Ann, yes, both are best served hot.


    sonia, ya, i love frangipani. You are so lucky to have both. Am trying to plant one at my backyard but still ery small, no flowers yet.

    min, 我也有很多食谱在排队。好像永远做不完;哈哈。。。

    swee san, actually i missed the episode but my friend gave me 1 big eggplant & ask me to cook that recipe. That is why i have to replay it online and learn from there. George's Mum really did a good job. My family loves this moussaka so much.

  8. Yong, move? haha... u want to ask ur husband to find job for my hubby arh? Helena also ask my mum to buy the moulds for her. Mine bought fr 3rd uncle few yrs ago. Dont know he still sell not?

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