Muffins recipes

National dish of Greece

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  • Independence: 1. 1. 1822
  • Capital: Athens
  • Official language: Greek
  • Population: 11 305 118
  • Area: 131 990 km2
  • International code: GR
  • Currency: Euro (€)
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Moussaka

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium eggplants, sliced
  • 1 lb and 2 oz lean ground beef
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes cubed
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup grated cheese (Parmesan is preferred)
  • 2 cups béchamel sauce
  • Salt and pepper
Moussaka is national food (dish) of Greece

Instructions:

In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions. When lightly sautéed add the ground beef and cook for another 10 minutes. Then add the cubed tomatoes, the garlic, the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Keep cooking for about an hour. Meantime, allow the sliced eggplants to soak in salty water for about an hour. Then drain the slices and fry them in very hot oil. When done, drain the excess olive oil. If you want to make a diet-friendly version, bake the eggplant slices in the oven for 15 minutes at 392 F. In a large pan, place the first layer of eggplant slices then add the layer of ground beef you have just cooked. Pour the béchamel sauce on top and sprinkle the cheese. Put in the oven and bake at high temperature for about 5 minutes (until the béchamel turns golden). Serve while hot, ideally with a glass of Greek wine and share with a bunch of friends. The above recipe makes 6 servings.

Info:

Simply put, moussaka is the national dish of Greece: a divine meal prepared with eggplant, ground beef, onions, tomatoes, spices and béchamel sauce. The traditional Greek moussaka has 3 layers:

  • the bottom layer is sliced eggplant sautéed in olive oil
  • the middle layer is ground beef (sometimes lamb) precooked with spices, herbs, onion, garlic and tomatoes
  • the top layer is béchamel sauce

There are variations to the standard recipe, sometimes using other vegetables and sometimes not using any béchamel sauce. A popular variant uses zucchini instead of eggplant, while the fast-day version includes only vegetables, tomato sauce and bread crumbs. You will find moussaka all over the Balkans and Middle East, but the Bosnian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Romanian and Serbian versions are made with potatoes instead of eggplant. Despite of its Arabic name, moussaka is known all over the world as the national dish of Greece.

 
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