Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dark Days Challenge No. 2: Moussaka

I'm not the kind of cook who prepares complex dishes. Barbecuing, oven roasting and boiling water for pasta is just fine.

The moussaka recipe sort of crept up on me. I had two beautiful eggplants from the farmers' market, some ground beef from a local ranch and tomato sauce that I froze last summer. The ingredients pictured here (I forgot to include the potatoes which came from our CSA box) seemed pretty benign. I did not, however, read what you were supposed to do with all of them. I'd never made moussaka before but I figured, how hard could it be?

By the time I was done I had used just about every pot and pan in the kitchen. Luckily Kerry handles the clean up chores, but I knew I was going to hear about this.

I had to make a roux, separate eggs, whip egg whites until stiff, blend the yolks with grated cheese and then put it all together to pour on top of the meat, potatoes, eggplant, onion, garlic and tomato sauce. It actually turned out just like it was supposed to. I discovered that a roux is not hard to make and that the huge eggs from a local farm were just right for the yolks and egg whites.

Even the olive oil was local from Chaffin Orchards Farm up in Oroville. The only things that were not local: butter, cream, flour and cheese.

I know all of you have probably done this stuff a million times, but not this locavore. I've been sick with a bad cold ever since so it's a good thing there is lots of moussaka plus leftover turkey from our gracious hostess at Thanksgiving. I'm on the mend so am looking forward to my next, less complex, dish.

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1 comment:

Creamy Silver said...

I love your beautiful yet unconventional utensil holder. I have a handcrafted pottery wine chiller as mine.