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Myrna Ferguson

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RE: Simple Greek Salad
6/3/2010 3:22:18 AM
Hi Donna,

Here is Phil again with another great recipe. I like Feta cheese , but I don't know how too describe it.

Well I took the cat to the vet, he was worse this a m. He has an infection it was not the Frontline, which he says is a good thing it really doesn't go into to there bodies. I know it is good, because as soon as I used it on him my bites stopped itching. Sounds funny, but true. He is much better already, it was worth the trip.

Happy cooking,
Hugs,
Myrna


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Phillip Black

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RE: Simple Greek Salad
6/3/2010 2:25:26 PM
Hi Donna,
So glad you liked the Omelet Recipe.
Feta Cheese is very much like fine aged Scotch, it's an acquired taste. Believe it or not, I've heard people describe it as tasting like everything from sweaty gym socks, to the salty, chunky, sweat of a mean old Greek dude. It has a strong aroma and lots of folks never really get past the smell to enjoy the taste. If pressedv to describe it, then strong Blue Cheese or Roquefort Cheese, would probably be the closest I could come. I love any kind of Cheese, so I may be biased, but I think it's definitely worth a try.

Feta is aged in a bath of brine, so as you might imagine, it's very salty. Its smell and taste are highly variable in terms of strength, so it can range from mild to very tangy. It's supposed to be made from sheep's or goat's milk, but chances are if you're buying it in a supermarket and not a cheese shop, it'll be made from ordinary cow's milk and therefore not as tangy. It crumbles nicely, which is why it's often used in salads.
It can be quite pricy, so if you know any restaurant owners, you might do as I do. I have a couple of Greek friends who run restaurants here locally, and they will usually buy me a Tub of Kronas Feta, around 4 lbs, whenever they buy theirs for the restaurant.
Let me know if you decide to try it, and what you think.
Have A Great Day,
Phil


“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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Donna Zuehl

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RE: Simple Greek Salad
6/4/2010 7:03:16 AM
Myrna,
I am so glad your kitty is feeling better. I am also glad it wasn't the flea medicine!
DonnaZ
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Donna Zuehl

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RE: Simple Greek Salad
6/4/2010 7:05:48 AM
Thank you for the information, Phil. Yes, I would be buying it from my local grocery store. Unfortunately, there aren't any Greeks or Greek restaurants anywhere around my area of Indiana. I have eaten at these restaurants when travelling, and have found their food to be very good.

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Phillip Black

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RE: Simple Greek Salad
6/6/2010 11:39:35 PM

Hi Donna,

I'm so sorry that you don't have any Greeks running Restaurants in your area. We are blessed in this area, it seems, as even most of the Italian Restaurants, as well as the Greek Restaurnats, are operated by Greek families.

I also am blessed to have many Greek Friends in this area, so I'm often priviledged to eat the "real thing", not just the restaurant variety Greek dishes, when I am lucky enough to be invited home for a Family meal. If I could, I would fix this for you and send it to you, however, here's the best True Greek dish that I've ever fixed, along with the recipe...

Classic Greek Moussaka

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.

This eggplant version is the traditional rendition, however you can also layer in potatoes, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you prefer. It's hearty and filling so you won't need many side dishes. While it can be quite time consuming to prepare, I think you'll find that once complete, it well worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggplants, about 4 lbs. total
  • 1 lb. potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Lamb (or Beef if you must)
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve yolks for bechamel)
  • 1 cup grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk, warmed
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Prep the Vegetables:

Using a sharp peeler, partially peel the eggplants, leaving strips of peel about 1 inch wide around the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in to 1/2 inch slices. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and salt them liberally. Cover them with an inverted plate that is weighted down by a heavy can or jar. Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out. They will need to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, preferably an hour. The salt also helps to remove some of the bitterness of the eggplant.

Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they are just done. They should not get too soft, just cooked enough so that they no longer crunch. Drain, cool and slice them in 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Add a splash of water to the egg whites and beat them lightly with a fork. Add breadcrumbs to a flat plate.

Rinse the eggplant slices and dry with paper towels. Dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg whites and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides. Place breaded eggplant slices on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 an hour, turning them over once during cooking. When eggplant is finished cooking, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Make the Meat Filling:

In a large sauté pan, brown the ground beef (or lamb) until the pink color disappears. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add wine to pan and allow it to simmer and reduce a bit before adding cinnamon, allspice, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes so that excess liquid can evaporate. It should be a drier, chunkier, tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the Béchamel Sauce:

Melt butter over low heat. Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste. Allow the flour to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.

Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously.

Simmer over low heat until it thickens a bit but does not boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in beaten egg yolks and pinch of nutmeg. Return to heat and stir until sauce thickens.

Assemble the Moussaka:

Lightly grease a large deep baking pan (lasagna pan). Sprinkle the bottom of pan with breadcrumbs. Leaving a 1/4 inch space around the edges of the pan, place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Top with a layer of eggplant slices.

Add meat sauce on top of eggplant layer and sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated cheese. Top with another layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle once again with 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and be sure to allow sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan. Smooth the béchamel on top with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until béchamel sauce is a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

If you wish, you can make this dish ahead up until the béchamel sauce and refrigerate. Make the béchamel sauce right before you intend to bake it.

Enjoy My Friend & Have A Blessed Week,
Phil
“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10
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