BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The messy time of life

Uliana has quickly grown up and for the most part she is no longer eating everything on the floor.  She's onto a new phase of baby existence... in this phase there is only one requirement... she must feed herself using only her fingers...

There are a few side effects to this phase. For example sometimes she is required to eat naked.
Moussaka

The moussaka that everyone knows (and loves) is generally made out of ground lamb and eggplant. However, moussaka is traditionally made with all sorts of vegetables.  My version is made with lentils.  This is a complicated dish, but my version is quicker to put together and tastes like the real thing!

Base:
Cook 2 cups of dried lentils until they are soft.  Meanwhile saute 1 cup of onions in olive oil.  Add in 6 cups of roughly chopped mushrooms (or other vegetables) and continue to cook until they give up their liquid.  Then add in cooked lentils, 4 cups crushed tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tbsp parsley, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp pepper and salt to taste (I use 2 tsp).  Continue to simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away.

Meanwhile make the Bechamel Sauce:
Whisk together 3 eggs and 2 cups of milk, then set aside.

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pot. Stir in a 1/4 cup of flour and whisk into the butter until it forms a smooth paste. Slowly add the milk mixture whisking continuously.  Continue to whisk and cook until it thickens.

Put the base of vegetables and lentils into a large baking dish, then top with a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, followed by the bechamel sauce.  Bake at 400 F (180 C) for 30-45 min (until top is nicely browned).

(Photos to follow as the children had a meltdown while I was trying to make the bechamel and I didn't bother to thicken it properly.  Still tasty, but not as photogenic.)


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