Sunday, 8 September 2013

Helen's Greek mousaka

Helen's Greek mousaka

Todays  yummy recipe is a favourite of mine .I'm sure you have all heard of mousaka one of the most famous Greek dishes ..

you will need :
4-5  big potatoes
2-3 big aubergines
2-3 big courgettes 
mince meat
1kilo beef mince meat
1 onion chopped
2 cups tomato canned or fresh (I use grated canned tomato)
1 glass of wine (optional)
1 cup olive oil
salt pepper
small cinnamon stick
bay leaf
bechamel sauce
1 cup grated cheese
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1 litre fresh milk

first of all start by making the mince meat, its really the same way its done when you make spaghetti ,finely chop one onion  lightly fry the onion in a pan with one cup of olive oil  then add the mince meat continue to lightly brown the meat and try to break it so it does have lumps ..Now if you like the taste of wine then now is the time to pour it in use one glass of wine let it simmer a bit .Add the tomato and water salt,pepper,nutmeg,bay leaf,allspice ( I put the bay leaf ,cinnamon and allspice in a little toule ,don't forget to remove them before pouring meat in the oven dish)
 and 2 cups of water cover the pan and let it cook slowly until it all absorbs ..

wash  your vegetables peel the potatoes  and cut them into thick slices about 1cm thick sprinkle with salt and pepper
Add olive oil to a frying pan and cook all the veg and potatoes until they are a nice golden colour on both sides ,leave them aside on kitchen towel to drain of the access oil
 I use a big oven dish but thats because we are 6 hungry people and like to eat seconds lol.... you may use whatever size suits your family needs better just make sure it is a deep dish .... now layer out the potatoes in the dish covering it all next the aubergines and courgettes mixed you will need the same amount to do a second layer on top so make sure you have enough .... it all depends on how big a dish you use

Your mince meat should be ready now it needs about 45 mins or until it has absorb its juices turn off the heat and add about half a cup of grated cheese and stir it in  I use regato you can use whatever you like just make sure it isn't too salty .empty all the meat on top of the layered vegetables and cover again with the rest of the potatoes and and veg...
The final step is the bechamel sauce ... you can use packet sauce if you want but I prefer the real thing so this is how i make it

add the butter to a pan low heat let butter melt then add the flour stiring all the time do this for a couple of mins then slowly add the milk  I use a hand whisk in the beginning to avoid lumps keep stirring and on a fairly low heat until it becomes nice and creamy .When you get  it nice and creamy turn off the heat add 1 cup of grated cheese ,salt pepper and grounded nutmeg stir it all up and pour over the ingredients in the oven tray sprinkle grated cheese on the top and cook in a pre heated oven 180C until nice and golden on top

 ENJOY !!! please comment below if you like this recipe I love to hear from you all ♥

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Helen's Greek soutzoukakia .. meat balls in garlic sauce !!

meat balls in garlic sauce

Welcome to my yummy world of cooking for my family something I really enjoy doing !!

Today I'm going to show you all how to make soutzoukakia  it's something like meatballs with a garlic sauce .They are sooo tasty !!

Well then let's get started you are going to need ...\

1 kilo of beef minced meat 
1 big onion chopped
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup water (maybe a little less )
1 egg
parsley chopped
about one table spoon of each salt -pepper
1 table spoon of cumin

First put your meat in a bowl add all the above ingredients and mix it up well ... if you are  a bit squeamish use gloves ... I used gloves today to keep my hands clean to take the photos lol

when its all mixed up it should look like this
Now the next step is to make the meatballs ...but we dont want them round we want them more like oblong chubby things and to make them look really nice without getting sticky hands I have a little secret put a little oil in a bowl not much and every meatball you make put a drop on your hands see the photo below 
                                                          use about the size of a large egg for each meatball

now make all of them and put them on a tray or plate ,when you have them all made get out your frying pan we are going to part cook them to make them super tasty.put a small amount of olive oil in the pan and brown them lightly don't over heat the oil just enough to cook them lightly we don't need to cook them right through just enough to seal the meat .



Ok how are you all getting on when you have part cooked them put them straight into an oven tray  ...Don't throw the oil away in the frying pan  we are going to use it (if it has over heated and gone very dark throw it away and use fresh olive oil) ..In the frying pan you should have just about one cup of oil maybe even a little less if it looks too much carefully empty some out I did with mine today..... by the way the aroma coming out of my oven is sooooo good I can't wait to eat lol .
Ok back to cooking for the sauce you will need  .At this point turn your oven on to a medium heat mine is electric and I put it on 180

2 cups of tomato canned or fresh 
3-4 cloves of garlic
salt pepper
1 teaspoon of cumin
a pinch of oregano (optional)
2 cups of water
turn your frying pan on again not too high we don't want to burn anything  add the garlic then tomato ,salt pepper ,cumin and oregano add 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about 10 mins
Next step is too carefully pour the tomato sauce over the meat balls 

Now make sure your oven is hot and ready (that sounds a bit naughty lol) carefully using oven gloves because your oven tray will be hot from the hot food already in it ... put it into your oven close the door and wait for about 25 mins then again carefully turn your meatballs so they cook beautifully all over  let them cook about another 15-20 mins until the sauce looks nice and  well you know not watery just perfect .

Well then that wasn't to hard was it ??  
serve with rice or chips or mash or even spaghetti 

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below 
you can also find me here on facebook Helen's handmade creations  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Helen's Greek Lentils Recipe

Helen's  Greek  Lentil soup  recipe 

I know It's been a while since I last wrote any recipe blogs so here is today's

This is a very healthy and vegetarian dish  great for kids ,my grandson loves them!!

Now first of all lets get all the ingredients, you will need ....

2 cups  Lentils
2 cups  fresh  tomatoes /or canned
1 big onion
1 cup olive oil (maybe a little more )
salt /pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon vinegar
(you can also add carrots and potato cut into little cubes )

Lentils are really quiet easy to make first of all put your lentils on a plate or tray and sift through them to make sure there are no little stones ..believe me its worth checking iv'e found plenty

 ..Then put them in a pan cover with water about 2 in over .Put the pan on to boil .

 sometimes they cook really fast sometimes they don't mine took about 20 mins today ,after about 10-15 mins check if they are soft just by squeezing one with your fingers (be careful they are hot) you want them to be soft but not mushy.

once they are soft pour them carefully into a strainer over the sink and rinse .

 Next chop your onion and garlic
 put your pan back on the stove medium heat  and add the olive oil ,onion and garlic

let it brown lightly add your tomato and about another 2 cups of water  salt and pepper to taste and bay leaves .

Leave it for about 10 mins to boil ,Now add the boiled lentils to your tomato and the vinegar  let it all cook for about another 10 mins

 . That's it your done !!!

Lentils are really nice when served with a yummy salad with plenty of Greek feta cheese ...ENJOY !!!
if you have any questions please do comment below ...
you can find me also on facebook helen's handmade creations