All posts tagged tasty tips

Chocolate Tuxedo Cups

Need some YUMmazing “Tasty Tips” for  Thanksgiving? I know, I know it sooooo early but a girl can excited; can’t she? Its my favorite holiday!  I just love these chocolate tuxedo cups and think they are a FABtastic dessert option for your Thanksgiving meal. Everyone is always sooo full and these chocolate mousse filled cups are a perfect little sweet treat! They make such a wonderful presentation and are so easy to make. Your guests will be super impressed by your “cooking skills”! Love it! Its also cheaptastic! 

Kane Candy

Chocolate Mousse

Take a chocolate mousse boxed recipe of your liking and whip it up! This takes no more than five minutes! Easy-peasy! Put the mousse into a plastic bag and cut a whole in one end to make it into a makeshift pastry bag. This will give the mousse a nice presentation because you can create swirls with the mousse by using the “pastry bag.”

Then crumble some cookies over the mousse and put three “chocolate straws” in the side! Voila! You have a FABtastic dessert with an amazing presentation. I displayed them on a silver tray with pink napkins and a mercury glass vase of flowers. Makes for a very classy look which works so well with the chocolate tuxedo cups! You can order these chocolate tuxedo cups online from Kane or pick up/order from World Market!

Homemade Falafel with Israeli Salad

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This deep-fried treat is popular throughout the Middle East. Although it originates from Egypt, paired with this fresh Israeli Salad, it becomes the perfect snack for any soiree.  Crunchy on the outside and creamy inside, the chickpea concoction has loads of flavor.  The Hostess Handbook suggests serving with hummus and harissa for an even yummier party-ready canapé!

Homemade Falafel

1 can of ready-soaked chickpeas
1 onion, finely diced
½ tsp red hot chili flakes
a bunch ea. of finely chopped parsley and cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, made into a paste with salt
½ tsp ea. of cumin and paprika
½ tsp of baking powder
3-5 tbl A.P flour
vegetable oil for frying

 

Israeli Salad

4 large tomatoes on the vine, concasse,
½ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
a bunch ea. of parsley and dill, finely chopped
olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper

 

1-   1-  Drain the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl of a food processor together with the chopped red onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, red chili flakes, cumin and paprika.  Blend until smooth but not a puree.

2-    2- Sprinkle in the baking powder and enough flour so that you can roll a small ball of dough without it sticking to your hands. Put dough into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3-   3-  Meanwhile, prepare the Israeli Salad:

a.     Mix together the first four ingredients (hold off on the lemon juice and olive oil until the falafel balls are ready).

b.     Season with salt and pepper.

c.      Once falafels are finished frying, add the lemon juice and a few drizzles of olive oil over the salad and mix to combine.

4-    4- Once the dough has been refrigerated, form small balls from the dough, about the size of a walnut, using the palms of your hands.

5-    5- Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees F and fry one ball to test – if it falls apart, add more flour.  Fry the balls a few at a time for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.  Serve with the Israeli Salad and Hummus.

 

Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Beet & Goat Cheese Tartlets with Rosemary and Caramelized Shallot

I love being an ex-pat. The opportunity for kvetching is endless – both about my own country and my adopted one. Yet, I will remain resolutely patriotic when it comes to one vital ingredient: our food sense. Sure, we may have invented McDonalds, but, really, it is just a part of our continued legacy – transforming something from the old world into a tastier and more commercially viable product (hint, a dash of sarcasm).

That being said, my tasty beet and goat cheese tart is my response to the British affinity for pies. I think you will agree; this goat cheese and beet version is a bit more sophisticated than the quintessential steak and kidney (although, I have to say I am a HUGE fan of steak and ale pie for a proper Sunday lunch).  Despite its rather dainty appearance, it is still quite hearty and packs a punch with flavor.  The goat cheese melts into the filling and the truffle oil perfectly pairs with the earthiness of the beets. You can use ready-made pastry dough if you’re in a hurry, but the recipe given really complements the filling – and it can be used for a variety of other ones as well!

With the self-contained pastry case keeping the tarts a fun-size, I think it’s the prefect party canapé for an winter soiree. Just rock one of Jess’s amazing party frocks and you are set to go!!!!

 

Pastry:

125 g all purpose flour

75 g butter, room temperature and cut into smallish lumps, plus a bit extra for greasing

40 g parmesan, finely grated

Cayenne pepper

1 large egg, beaten

 

Filling:

3 large shallots, chopped into thin slices (julienne)

2 beets, cooked and diced

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

110 g goat cheese

25 g butter

120 ml light cream

¼ tsp mustard powder (or ½ tsp mustard)

Truffle oil

Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

 

For the pastry dough:

1)   Sift the flour into a large bowl, then, using a knife, cut the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed.

2)   Add the grated Parmesan, a pinch of cayenne pepper and about 1½ tablespoons of cold water.  Mix thoroughly using your fingertips until you have a smooth dough.

3)   Wrap the dough with saran wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4)   Once the dough has rested, roll it out as thin as possible and use a cutter to cut 12 rounds.  Grease the tin trays (or cupcake holders!) with a bit of butter and line them with the dough, allowing it to stand a bit above the rims to allow for shrinkage.

5)   Prick the bases with a fork and brush a bit of beaten egg all over.  Cook for about 10 minutes (or until just cooked), rotating half way through. Set aside for later use.

 

For the filling:

1)   Sauté the shallots in a bit of butter on low heat for approx. 30 minutes. They should caramelize on their own, but add a bit of natural cane sugar to help the process along.

2)   In a separate pan, sauté the already cooked beets in the truffle oil, season with salt and pepper and add a bit of the chopped rosemary.

3)   Whisk the egg with the cream and mustard into a jug and season with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper.

4)   Mix together the shallots with the beets and rosemary in a separate bowl.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into each pastry case, spreading it out evenly.  Pour the egg mixture over it.

5)   Cut the cheese into thin slices, making a round with your fingers as the cheese will be soft. Put a slice on top of each tartlet and garnish with a bit more of the beet and rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper.

6)   Bake for 20 minutes or puffy and golden, rotating the pan half way through.

7)   Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from tins/ cupcake holders but remember to serve them warm!!! Yummm.

Unique Turkey Recipes

All I’m gonna say is Turduckenage! Turkey, duck, chicken and sausage all in one! It really is one of the most unique turkey recipes out there! I was at a friends Thanksgiving on Sunday and the master chef out of the group, Bill Bridges, made a Turduckenage for the event! Everyone was amazed at the presentation and even more impressed by the taste. If you want to do something special and unique this year with your turkey this is it! The layers of varying meat give everyone what they could possible want and make it fun for people to explore and decide which layer was their favorite or which combo they liked best! I suggest you keep it pretty simple and season the meats lightly as there will be a lot of flavor with all the different meats. Now, you make this with BONE-OUT layers of the meat. So bone-out Turkey, chicken and duck. You can ask for this at your super market! Then you lay the different meats out on a table and layer them one on top of the other. So you would put the bone-out turkey on a table and season it with salt, pepper and paprika and then put a layer of duck on top of that and so on. At the end you roll the meat up and keep the whole thing together with string. There are so many unique turkey recipes for thanksgiving but this one really takes the cake and it is actually pretty easy! The process will seem much easier when you watch the video below! Just add sausage to what you see! You can also roll everything up and keep it intact with tight string instead of sewing!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups are my all-time favorite Halloween candy.  While the Reese’s version are the standard, try going a bit more upscale with this homemade variety. Adapted from the homemade peanut butter cups recipe featured in the December 1990 issue of Bon Appetit, these candies are both easy to make and fun to decorate. The Hostess Handbook suggests serving them at your Halloween party – the trick is in the high quality chocolate treat.

 Ingredients:

¼ plus 2 1/2 tbl cups powdered sugar
¼ cup sour cream
4 tbl heavy cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 ¼ lbs bittersweet chocolate
peanuts, chopped for decoration
orange sugar balls, for decoration
small petit four cups, or cupcake cups if you want large peanut butter cups
 

Directions: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

1-    Mix the powdered sugar, sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla pods in a large bowl.  Stir in the peanut butter, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

2-    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stir until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the water.  Spoon about 1 tsp into the cupcake cups (more or less depending on the size).  Rotate them and spread the melted chocolate ¾ of the way up the cup using the flat side of the knife (or the outside edge of a measuring spoon). Refrigerate until the chocolate has set (approx. 20-30 min).

3-    Spoon some of the peanut butter into each set chocolate cup.  Smooth with the back edge of a teaspoon. Reheat the melted chocolate and spoon enough chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter.

4-    Decorate the tops of the peanut butter cups with the chopped peanuts and orange sugar balls.  Refrigerate until set (approx. 20-30 min).

 

Trick or Trick!!!

Homemade Pizza

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Whether you’re just having a casual night in with friends or planning a sophisticated soiree, this homemade pizza is sure to impress.  Making your own dough is super easy (just do it the night before your big event), and, if you prepare your toppings ahead of time, you’ll be able to mingle and drink more wine with your guests – bonus.  It’s always more fun to be creative with your toppings, but if you’re having writer’s block, The Hostess Handbook suggets: Classic Margherita; Mushroom; Ricotta, Spinach and Cherry Tomato; and, my new fave – Bolognese and spinach. AMAZING.

 

Homemade Pizza Dough 

12 g active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
5 ¼ cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
Olive oil

 

Topping Suggestions:

Tomato Sauce
Bolognese Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella
Basil, chiffonade
Mushrooms, seared in butter
Ricotta
Spinach
Cherry Tomatoes
 

Directions:

1-    Blend together the yeast, sugar, flour and sea salt in a medium bowl.  Add in the warm water in a steady drizzle and mix thoroughly with your hands. 

2-    Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until you have a large ball.

3-    Put the ball of dough in a clean, large bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside to proof for at least 18 hours in total – or until it has more than doubled. After a few hours, punch down the dough and let proof again.

4-    Unwrap the dough and divide into four equal portions.  For each portion: pull the right side of the dough out and back towards the center (repeat for the three other sides) and shape into a round seam side down. If not using straight away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a maximum of 3 days. Return to room temperature by covering dough with a damp cloth for a few hours prior to use.

5-    On a floured surface, stretch out each portion of dough into a thin 9 inch round – be careful not to stretch it too thin or it will break. Spread tomato sauce over the dough base, add mozzarella cheese, basil and any other additional toppings (or, try using someBolognese sauce for a unique twist).

6-    Transfer the assembled pizza onto a pizza stone and cook in a 450 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy. Enjoy with a Peroni or glass of Chianti.

 

 

North African Lamb Shank with Saffron Couscous


Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This is one large yummy dish that is perfect for sharing with a close group of friends.  Sit on the floor with lots of cushions Moroccan style and serve in a large tagine pot – your guests will have lots of fun scooping up the falling-off-the-bone tender meat and delicious saffron couscous.  The Hostess Handbook suggests lots of bold-flavored red wine to complement the spiced meat – and, perhaps some after dinner hookah?

 

Ingredients: 

2 lamb shanks
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 large red onion, large dice
1 carrot, large dice
4 celery sticks, cut into big chunks
1 tbl paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp chili flakes
1 can tomatoes
1 cup of lamb or beef stock
5 garlic cloves, crushed with the heel of your knife
4 sprigs ea. parsley and cilantro, plus more (chopped) for garnish
2 sprigs of rosemary
zest and juice of ½ a lemon
10 dried apricots, cut into halves
bay leaf
salt and pepper
olive oil

 Directions:

1-    Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and sear them on all sides in olive oil over a hot flame. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2-    In a dutch oven or large roasting pan, sauté the onion, carrot, celery and crushed garlic over medium- high heat and season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables start to take color, add in 1/3 bottle of the red wine and let reduce to about ½ its volume. Add in the herbs, bay leaf and spices, apricot halves, lemon zest and lemon juice.

3-    Pour in the can of tomatoes and lamb or beef stock and return the lamb shanks to the liquid.  Make sure the lamb shanks are completely submerged – add more water if necessary.

4-    Braise the lamb shanks for approx. 3-4 hours, check half way and add more liquid if necessary.

5-    Once the lamb shanks are cooked, strain off ½ braising liquid and pour into a small saucepan. Reserve the apricot halves and cooked carrots to serve with the lamb (sprinkle a bit of cumin on them for an extra punch).

6-   Cook the strained braising liquid over medium heat until it reduces to a thick sauce. Reserve and keep warm.

7-    Pour boiling water over the couscous, add a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and a few strands of saffron. Cover and let sit for 5-6 min. Remove the cover and fluff with a fork.

8-    Serve the lamb shanks over the saffron couscous with the reserved carrot and apricot mixture. Pour the sauce on top and garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley.

Apple and Honey Crumble

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Regarded as the ‘food of the gods’ in Ancient times and often used as a sweetener (especially before the discovery of sugar) for pastry, honey is symbolic of wealth, happiness and the good life.  Serve this apple and honey crumble at your latest fall shindig with a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will definitely make a bee-line for it!

 Ingredients:

1 tbl liquid honey, plus additional for drizzling
½ cup creamed butter
1 tbl crème fraiche
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
3 ¼ lbs apples, peeled and cored
cinnamon

 Directions for Apple and Honey Crumble:

1.    Mix together the liquid honey with the creamed butter using a fork. Quickly blend in the crème fraîche and then the flour using your fingers.

2.   Mix together with your fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Set aside.

3.   Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the apples into 1/8s and arrange them in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle some extra honey and sprinkle some cinnamon over the apples. Cover with the honey pastry crumble mixture.

4.    Cook for 30 min or until the top is golden brown and serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

Labor Day Pink Lemonade Jello Shots

Today, I have another Tasty Tip for you as Labor Day is coming up and food is always a big thang. You want to have some cute kitschy items mixed in with the regular ole’ hamburgers and hot dogs! These Labor Day pink lemonade jello shots are just the item to liven up your party and get guests talking and mingling! These jello shots are also super easy to make and wont break the bank! The Hostess Handbook would never lead you astray! Serve these at your labor day bash and it will be a hit!

Ingredients:

2 Boxes Clear Jello
Vodka of Choice
Pink Lemonade Crystal Light Mix
6 Lemons
 
 

Directions:

- Cut Lemons in Half the long way and scoop out the middle of the lemon.

-  Follow the Jello making instructions on the box and taylor it so you use Vodka instead of the cold water that they call for and add about a 1/3 of the crystal light package into finished jello before you add the the lemons and put in fridge. The pink Lemonade amount can also be done by adding to the clear jello until you get the desired colored!

 

- Ladle the pink lemonade jello into the lemon halves so its right up to the top of the rim of the lemons and place in the fridge until jello is set!

- Cut into slivers or wedges depending on how many you want to serve and how large of a shot! I like them cut into slivers!

- You can add pink chunky sprinkles on top if you want to glam them up a bit!

- Take a shot for me!

 

Spiced Shrimp with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Tasty Tips

Spiced Shrimp with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa 

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Looking for the perfect summer canapé or appetizer for your backyard bash? Look no further than The Hostess Handbook! These spicy marinated shrimp are absolutely delicious with the freshness of the salsa.  Extremely easy to prepare, this delightful little dish packs a serious punch. Perfect for a warm eve after a day at the beach, all you need now is a pitcher of margs. Ahh living the dream.

Try these spiced shrimp with grilled corn and avocado salsa for the 4th of July! Healthy has never looked so good!

Shrimp Ingredients:

16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, or 1/12 pounds small shrimp

1 tbl chipotle paste

1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cilantro

a handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbl olive oil

a few pinches of salt and pepper

Salsa Ingredients:

2 large tomatoes, concasse

1 large avocado

juice from ½ a lime

1 1/2 cobs of corn

2 scallions, finely chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

a handful each of fresh cilantro and fresh mint, finely chopped

Olive oil

paprika

salt and pepper

 Directions:

1-    Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on a paper towel.

2-    Ground together all the other ingredients in a food processor and add the shrimp.  Toss to coat and cover with plastic wrap.  Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 min.

3-    Meanwhile, prepare the salsa:

  1. Prepare the corn by rubbing it with olive oil and seasoning with paprika, salt and pepper.  Wrap in aluminum foil and grill, turning often, for 10-15 min.
  2. Cut the avocado into small chunks and toss with the lime-juice.  Add the concasse tomatoes, grilled corn and jalapeno peppers. Season with salt and pepper and more lime-juice if necessary. Garnish with the fresh cilantro.

4-    Grill the shrimp for 1-3 min on each side and serve with the salsa.

 

 

 

 

Caprese Salad with Burrata

Tasty Tip

Caprese Salad with Burrata

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This classic Italian summer salad gets a facelift with the substitution of Burrata. Made from a mixture of mozzarella and cream, this cheese is a staple from Apulia.  If you can’t find it, use buffalo mozzarella for a smoky and creamy flavor that will enhance the tomatoes.  The Hostess Handbook suggests you pair the salad with a light-bodied Chianti or crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients: 

4-5 ripe tomatoes on the vine, sliced
1 large ball of burrata or 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
balsamic glaze
olive oil
salt and pepper
 

 

Directions:

1-    Drizzle the balsamic glaze on a large white plate. Arrange the tomato slices on top and season them with salt and pepper and a dash of olive oil.  Sprinkle the basil chiffonade all over the tomatoes.

2-    Place the large ball of Burrata in the middle of the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Or, if using buffalo mozzarella, cut into slices and place on top of the tomatoes.

DIY on a Dime Party Video

DIY on a Dime Party Video

Our DIY on a Dime Party on Sunday was a huge hit and everyone had a blast! Such good times, good crafting and good company!

Check out this Video recap to learn what tasty tips and DIY crafts you can make for your next party! Here are some featured pictures!

DIY on a Dime Party Video

Simple White Bean Dip Recipe

Tasty Tip

Simple White Bean Dip Recipe

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

Getting a little sick of hummus?!! Try this delicious alternative. The creamy white beans provide the perfect base for the flavorful spices and herbs – and, with a bit of lemon juice adding a note of acidity – this is one tasty treat that dresses to impress.  The Hostess Handbook suggests serving with pita chips, or using it as a base for yummy bruschetta – just add some sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley for a middle-eastern spin on an Italian classic.

Ingredients: 

1 cup cannellini beans, cooked

Juice of ½ lemon

1 clove garlic, unpeeled and crushed

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tbl chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 tbl chopped mint

2 tsp chopped cilantro

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor adding olive oil as necessary.  Taste to adjust seasonings and garnish with parsley.  Serve with toasted pita chips or use as a spread for bruschetta.

Unique Date and Apple Charoset with Spiced Matzah Chips Recipe

Tasty Tip

Unique Date and Apple Charoset with Spiced Matzah Chips Recipe

 Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

 Meant to recall the mortar the enslaved Jews used to seal bricks in ancient Egypt, this dish should always include sweet wine, cinnamon, nuts and apples. But, why not kick-it up a notch and impress your family with this creative combination instead? By this time your probably ready to make something new! Serve this Charoset alongside the spiced matzah chips for an innovative twist!  Mmm matzah never tasted so good.

 Ingredients:

16 pitted Medjool dates
4 gala apples, small dice
½ cup currants
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup sweet red wine
2 tbl. honey
½ cup ea. walnut halves, pine nuts, unsalted pistachios, all three toasted
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
6 matzah
2 tbl. ea. paprika and cumin
Olive oil

Directions:

1-    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2-    Puree the dates in a food processor until smooth.  Add ½ the apples, all spices, nuts, red wine, currants and nuts and puree into a smooth paste.  Add the 2nd half of diced apple for texture.  Garnish with thin apple slices.

3-    Rub olive oil over the matzah and sprinkle the spices on both sides.  Bake in the oven for 8 min.  Break into pieces and serve the chips alongside the charoset.

Mini Moussaka Recipe

Tasty Tip

Mini Moussaka Recipe

Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of  The Desk and The Stove

This classic Greek dish is remade in perfect party form: the ramekins are just the right size for a dinner party appetizer, and, layered like a lasagna, the combination of the creamy béchamel with the spiced ground meat complements the smokiness of the eggplant.  It’s so delicious your guests will totally be saying, ‘mou-ssak-it-to-me’.

Ingredients:

4 ramekins
2 large eggplant, sliced
200 g ground beef
400 g ground lamb
2 shallots, small dice
2 small cloves of garlic, made into a paste with salt
1 tbl finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tbl finely ground cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all-spice
½ tsp nutmeg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Tomato sauce:

4 large tomatoes, concassed and finely chopped. Reserve the extra tomato juice with a splash of water.

1 garlic clove made into a paste with salt.

In a medium saucepan, heat up some olive oil with the garlic paste. Add the concasse tomatoes and let cook for 2-3 min until the olive oil is incorporated.  Add the reserved tomato juice and water, decrease heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 min until a thick sauce develops.  Season with salt and pepper.

Béchamel Sauce:

1/3 cup butter,
½ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup milk,
sprinkle of nutmeg,
salt and pepper.

Whisk together a roux (equal parts by weight butter and all purpose flour) over medium heat.  Add 1 cup milk and whisk until a thick smooth sauce develops (8-10 min). Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 Directions:

1-    De-gorge the eggplant: salt the slices and let them drain in a colander over a bowl for 30 min to release the bitter juices.

2-    Season the meat in a medium bowl with salt, pepper, the chopped herbs, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and allspice.

3-    Brown the meat in a large sauté pan with olive oil, the garlic paste and diced shallots over medium-high heat.  Add in the tomato sauce and let cook for a further 2 min.  Set aside.

4-    Fry off the eggplant slices and drain on paper towel.

5-    Layer the moussaka: eggplant, meat with tomato sauce, béchamel until you reach the top (depending on ramekin size, this should be 2-4 layers). Make sure you end with béchamel sauce.

6-    Place in the oven at 350 degrees and cook until the béchamel starts to brown and become slightly crunchy (20-25 min).  Serve garnished with parsley.

 

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