Moussaka version 2: eggplant baked
Place the roasted eggplants flesh side up in an oven tray. Using a spoon, spread the vegetable mix evenly on each eggplant and continue with the Bolognese sauce on top. Line 2 to 3 rows of cherry tomatoes slices slightly overlaping so they cover the surface of the Bolognese. Season with salt, add the grated parmesan and bake in a preheated oven at 240 ° C / 465 F on the broiler, until the cherry tomatoes soften and the parmesan turns golden brown, for about 13 to 15 minutes.
Place some of the béchamel sauce on the center of a plate. Place the baked Moussaka on top of the sauce and finish the plate with chives and potato chips on top.
Moussaka version 1: skillet baked
Combine the diced eggplant with the rest of the vegetable mix. Spread the vegetable mix in two baking dishes or skillets. Top with the Bolognese sauce and spread evenly over the surface using the back of a spoon. Pour the béchamel sauce, flatten with a spatula and finish by evenly sprinkling the breadcrumbs and the parmesan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 240 ° C / 465 F on the broiler, until golden brown, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
For the broiled eggplant halves
Cut a thin slice (about 0.5 cm) from the skin side of each half so that the halves can sit straight when placed on a tray with the flesh side up. Season the halves with salt, drizzle with olive oil and place in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Roast in a preheated oven on the broiler at 240 ° C / 465 F until soft and light brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside until needed.
For the vegetable mix (about 880 gr. / 31 oz)
Pierce the eggplants all over their surface with a fork. Place them in an oven tray and bake in a preheated oven at 220 °C / 428 F. Flip sides when the skin colors and continue roasting until they soften. This will take about 40 minutes. Let the eggplants cool down so that they can be easier to handle. Peel the skin starting from the top side and working your way to the bottom. Place the peeled eggplants on a rack with a tray under it. Season with salt and weigh down with a heavy plate to release some of the moisture. Cut into medium dice and set them aside.
While the eggplant is roasting prepare the rest of the vegetable mix. Heat a pot over high heat, add the olive oil, and the mushrooms. Season with salt and cook until lightly browned, for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the potatoes, butter, garlic, thyme, season with salt and cook until the garlic and the thyme start releasing their aromas, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and immediately lower the heat. Cover with a lid and simmer on very low heat, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft and the mixture has dried out.
Turn off the heat, add the béchamel, the chopped eggplant, the parsley and mix well. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
For the Bolognese style sauce (about 540 gr. / 19 oz)
Place a kitchen pot over a high heat, add the olive oil, the minced meat, season with salt and cook, stirring often by using a spoon spatula, until the minced meat gets a nice brown color. Add the onion, season with salt and "sweat" it until it becomes soft. Add the garlic and as soon as it takes out aromas, pour in the red wine and cook until all the liquids evaporates.
Add the tomato, the broth, the cinnamon stick, the star anise and the bay leaf, bring to the boil, lower the heat, season with salt and add sugar, if necessary. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes.
Once the minced meat has been cooked, remove the lid and let the liquids to evaporate so that the sauce become thick enough but does not dry out. Remove the bay leaves, the star anise and the cinnamon stick. Taste and season with salt and sugar if necessary.
For the yoghurt béchamel (about 750 gr. / 26.5 oz)
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and mix with a whisk to until a thick mixture forms up. Continue cooking until very lightly colored, for about 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it to cool down a bit. Add the milk and mix with a whisk until the combine the roux with the liquid and all lumps are removed. Add the cream and return the pot to the heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, season with salt and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently with a spoon, so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and gradually incorporate the cheeses stirring constantly with a spoon. Mix in the yoghurt and the eggs. Adjust seasoning with salt.
For the potato crisps
Pour the sunflower oil in a saucepan and bring it to 140 ° C / 284 F. Rinse the potato sticks under cold running water, strain and dry well. Start adding small portion of the potato sticks into the hot oil and deep fry until the potatoes becomes golden brown and crispy. Remove the potato crisps by using a spider skimmer and transfer them on a plate with kitchen paper on top. Season the potato chips with salt while they are still hot.
COOK ALONG PREP & EQUIPMENT LIST
- peeled and chopped onions for the ‘’bolognese sauce’’.
- strained and roughly chopped whole peeled canned tomatoes for the ‘’bolognese sauce’’.
- peeled garlic
- baked and peeled whole eggplants, drained, for the ‘vegetable mix’’.
- peeled potatoes in cold water for the ‘vegetable mix’’.
- picked parsley leaves, for the ‘vegetable mix’’.
- grated cheeses
- scaled ingredients per recipe
- fried potato crisps
- 1 weighing scale
- several bowls for storage
- 2 saute pans (ideally 16*3,5cm / 6,2*1,3inch)
- 1 large pot for the ‘’Bolognese sauce’’ (ideal 27*6cm / 10.6*2.4 inches)
- 1 large pot for the ‘’moussaka mix’’ (ideal 27*6cm / 10.6*2.4inches)
- 1 medium kitchen pot for the ‘’bechamel sauce’’ (ideal 24*8 / 9.4*3.2inches)
- 1 small sauce pan for the ‘’potato crisps’’ (ideal 20*8 / 7.9*3.2inches)
- 2 spoon spatula for cooking
- 1 medium whisk for the ‘’bolognese sauce’’ and the ‘’bechamel sauce’’
- 2 oven trays (ideal 25*45 / 9.8*17.7inches)
- 1 fork
- 1 resting rack or strainer
- 2 dishes for pressing the broiled and peeled eggplants
- 1 fine grater or a box grater with fine cut for the cheeses
- 1 mandoline slicer with a tooth blade for the potato crisps (if not available use a chef’s knife)
- 1 spider for the potato crisps
- 1 chopping board (ideal 20*30cm / 7.8*11.8inches)
- 1 chef’s knife (ideal 20cm / 8 inches)
- 1 utility knife (paring knife), (ideal)
- kitchen paper