Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baked tortellini

I was never very big fan of tortellini, but that had changed when I used to work in a certain hotel. You see, they were paying us peanuts, but they were feeding us. Unless someone was on a special diet and had to bring their own lunch (which nobody did), the food was actually not bad. On a very good day (when the chef was in a good mood), the food was almost very good.
So, after asking the cook (not the chef, he was really snotty son of a *beep*) what goes in 'those little porcelain dishes', he kindly listed the ingredients:

To feed 4 people you will need:

300 grams tortellini
250 ml bechamel sauce
400 ml tomato sauce (plain or your favorite flavor)
1 small cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
pinch of oregano


Cook the tortellini according to packet instructions and drain. In a suitable baking dish pour half of the bechamel sauce and put the tortellini over. Pour the rest of the bechamel sauce and gently stir, so the tortellini are covered. Pour over the tomato sauce and bake in preheated oven (200 degrees celsius) until bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the Cheddar cheese, then the Parmesan and pinch of oregano. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheeses are golden in color.

Moussaka (Musaka)

OK, I get it. I haven't posted since Easter and it is kinda long time, however with a good reason. I have been having series of little misfortunes (health-wise) which have made it very difficult for me to function on my 'normal' levels, but let's forget about that. I missed cooking too and let's face it, sandwiches are not food.
Ever since I was little girl, I was sort of 'stuck' in the kitchen observing, asking endless questions and sometimes I was even allowed to put seasoning on the food, which was a big seal for me, it made me feel grown up and important. One of the important foods in my life has always been moussaka, but not the version that one associates with Greece. It is my mom's moussaka that made me feel better when I was sick or sad.
So, I would like to share it and wish everyone to eat it in good health :)

To feed 4 people, you will need:

700 grams of peeled and thinly sliced potatoes
300 grams ground beef (you can exchange it with soya mince or lentils if you dislike meat)
1 finely chopped onion
3 eggs
200-250 ml milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
generous pinch of oregano
tiny pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1-2 teaspoons mild red paprika
1-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil


Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Fry the onion until soft, but take care not to change color. Add the ground beef (or lentils/soya mince) and let it brown, breaking it into very small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper aand paprika and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a baking dish layer some of the thinly sliced potatoes, and then add some of the meat. Repeat until everything has finished and the last layer is made up of potatoes.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes and then remove from the oven, whisk the eggs and milk together and pour over the moussaka. If the potatoes are not covered, add little bit more milk.
Bake about 1 to 1 1/2 hour (depending on the oven) or until golden on the top. Let it rest for 10 minutes and serve with green or cucumber salad with vinaigrette dressing.
Bon Apetit!