MOUSSAKA ( Traditional )

INGREDIENTS:  

For a medium size,baking tray

6 aubergines.

oil for frying.

700g minced beef.

1 large onion, grated.

1 wineglass white wine.

1 cup of olive oil.

1 tbs tomato paste.

1 bay leaf.

1 pinch cinnamon.

1 tbs allspice.

salt and pepper.

for the sauce

3 tbs fresh butter.

4 tbs flour.

Two glasses of milk.

2 eggs.

1 pinch nutmeg.

2 cups grated parmesan cheese .

salt and pepper.


METHOD:

Remove the stems from the eggplants and cut into thick slices 1 cm thick salt them and put them in a colander for ½ hour.

Rinse with plenty of water and press hard with your hand to strain water.  

Fry in plenty of oil until browned. Place onto absorbent paper to dry.

Prepare the ground beef.

In a large pan heat the olive oil and saute the grated onion until golden.

Put the mince and cook stirring continuously to mix well with the onions.

Add the white wine. Allow to cook well until the mixture is thick.

Dissolve the tomato paste in a little water and pour into the meat.

Put the bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper .

Stir and cook until the liquid has evaporated . Let it cool.

Prepare the sauce.

Heat the fresh butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir until brown.

Pour the milk hot, stirring continuously to avoid crumbling.

Once the sauce thickens remove from heat and add the nutmeg, pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.

Pour the cheese in and stir.

Add eggs, stir quickly until absorbed by the mixture. Let it rest.

Take the baking tray and brush the bottom with little oil.

Place eggplants to form a layer without leaving any gaps. Pour the mince over and spread evenly.

Make a second layer with the remaining eggplant.

Finally pour the béchamel on top. Spread evenly with a knife and bake in the oven for about 1 hour until it forms a golden crust. Before you cut  moussaka into pieces let it rest for ½ hour.


RAVANI ( Semolina Cake )

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter

4 cups sugar

6 egg yolks

6 egg whites

Grated orange rind

1 cup flour

2 cups fine semolina

1 tablespoon baking powder

Juice of 1/2 lemon


METHOD:

Cream the butter with 1/2 cup sugar.

Add the yolks, one at a time, together with the orange rind, beating constantly'.

Add the flour and baking powder, alternating with the milk, stirring all the time.

Add the semolina, and finally fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Butter a baking pan and pour the batter into it.

Bake in a moderate oven for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the syrup. Boil the rest of the sugar in I 1/2 cups of water, to which the lemon juice has been added, for five minutes.

Pour the syrup over the cake while it is still hot.