Saturday, October 8, 2011


Best of Greece is the top specialist for tailor-made holidays to Greece! Find out more under Our devotion to Greece as a country and the Greek way of living is now helping you become a true Greek fan yourselves! We have found a great recipe of how to make Mousaka! One of the most known Greek delicacies! We hope you enjoy the recipe and look forward to hearing how it finally tasted ! We found this recipe on and the person who wrote it was Elise! Thank you Elise for this great recipe!
Moussaka is to the Eastern Mediterranean what lasagna is to Italy: A very rich, special casserole that is perfect for Sunday dinners or potluck gatherings. The recipe takes some time to put together, but like a good lasagna, it’s worth it. This version is Greek, although every country in the region makes its own version of moussaka. Even the Greek versions have endless variety, from different ingredients in the meat sauce, choices of meat, amount of béchamel, how they cut and cook the eggplants, whether to use potatoes, etc. The best way to make moussaka is in steps. Start with the meat sauce, and while that is simmering, prep the potatoes and eggplant. Make the béchamel last because it is not a sauce that holds very well. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps, we've just detailed the process carefully to make it easier to follow. Do you have a favorite way of preparing moussaka? Please let us know about it. Also check out the links to more moussaka approaches from other food bloggers in the link list below the recipe. Moussaka Recipe A word on the cheese: All sorts of cheese can be used here, and to be most authentic, use kefalotyri. We used mizithra, which is becoming increasingly available in supermarkets. No need to search the globe for these cheeses, however, as a pecorino or any hard grating cheese will work fine. INGREDIENTS Meat sauce 2 pounds ground lamb or beef 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 chopped onion 4 chopped garlic cloves 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 Tbsp dried oregano 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1/2 cup red wine Zest of a lemon 2 Tbsp or more of lemon juice Salt to taste Bechamel sauce 1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 4 cups whole milk 4 egg yolks 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg The moussaka 3 large globe eggplants 1/2 cup salt 8 cups water 2-3 Yukon gold or other yellow potatoes 1 cup grated mizithra cheese (or pecorino or Parmesan) Olive oil METHOD Prepare the meat sauce 1 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown the ground meat. By the way, the meat will brown best if you don't stir it. Add the onions about halfway into the browning process. Sprinkle salt over the meat and onions. 2 Once the meat is browned and the onions have softened, add the garlic, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3 Add the red wine and mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat and continue to simmer gently, uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Mix well and taste. If the sauce needs more acidity, add more lemon juice. Set the sauce aside. Prepare the potatoes and eggplants 4 Mix the 1/2 cup salt with the 8 cups of water in a large pot or container. This will be the brine for the eggplants.
5 Slice the top and bottom off the eggplants. Cut thick strips of the skin off the eggplants to give them a striped appearance. A little skin on the eggplant is good for texture, but leaving it all on makes the moussaka hard to cut later, and can add bitterness, which you don’t want. (Some moussaka recipes leave the skin on and have you slice the eggplants lengthwise, which is an option if you prefer.) Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and drop them into the brine. 6 Let the eggplants sit in the brine 15-20 minutes, then remove them to a series of paper towels to dry. Place a paper towel down on the counter, layer some eggplant on it, then cover with another sheet of paper towel and repeat. 7 As the eggplants are brining, peel and slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds. Boil them in salted water for 5-8 minutes – you want them undercooked, but no longer crunchy. Drain and set aside.
8 To cook the eggplant, broil or grill the rounds. You could also fry the eggplant rounds but they tend to absorb a lot of oil that way. To grill the eggplant rounds, get a grill very hot and close the lid. Paint one side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and grill 2-3 minutes. When they are done on one side, paint the other side with oil and flip. When the eggplants are nicely grilled, set aside. To broil, line a broiling pan or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Paint with olive oil. Place the eggplant rounds on the foil and brush with olive oil. Broil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned on one side, then flip them over and broil for a few minutes more. Set aside. Prepare the béchamel 9 Heat milk in a pot on medium heat until steamy (about 160 degrees). Do not let simmer. 10 Heat the butter in a small pot over medium heat. When the butter has completely melted, slowly whisk in the flour. Let this roux simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Do not let it get too dark. 11 Little by little, pour in the steamy milk, stirring constantly. It will set up and thicken dramatically at first, but keep adding milk and stirring, the sauce will loosen. Return the heat to medium. Add about a teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg. Stir well.
12 Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when you put them into the sauce. Using two hands, one with a whisk, the other with a ladle, slowly pour in a couple ladle’s worth of the hot béchamel into the eggs, whisking all the time. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the béchamel while whisking the mixture. Keep the sauce on very low heat, do not let simmer or boil. Finish the moussaka
13 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Layer a casserole with the potatoes, overlapping slightly. Top the layer of potatoes with a layer of eggplant slices (use just half of the slices).
14 Cover the eggplant slices with the meat sauce. Then layer remaining eggplant slices on top of the meat.
15 Sprinkle half the cheese on top. Ladle the béchamel over everything in an even layer. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. 16 Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Let the moussaka cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Yield: Serves 8. I hope you find this recipe interesting and helpful! We do look forward to hearing your feedback from it! Your holiday specialist to Greece Best of Greece

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Best of Greece is the leading specialist in Tailor-Made Luxury Holidays to Greece since 1973! In our effort to bring forward new city breaks to Greece we have been one of the first tour operators to include the wonderful city of Thessaloniki! Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and is also called the city which never sleeps! It is city full of culture, history and happy faces! We are sure that a holiday to Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas will be a holiday you will forever cherish! Find out more about this fascinating city We found this very interesting article written on the Telegraph by Robin Gauldie! We hope you enjoy it!
I like to start a visit to Thessaloniki with an early morning stroll through the market district and perhaps a wee ouzo in one of its back-alley cafés. Then a tour of the fish hall, among stalls heaped with eels, carp, crabs, lobster, octopus, squid, bream, sardines, mackerel and other less familiar fruits of the sea and rivers of northern Greece – so fresh that many still wriggle. The markets – the flower stalls of the old Ottoman Bedesten, the Modano with its piles of oranges and melons, barrels overflowing with olives and dried fruits and herbs and spices and tiny shops selling icons, good-luck charms and slender beeswax church candles – have survived a century of upheavals. "Salonika of the late 19th century was a combination of smart seafront mansions, shops selling European luxuries, modern transport, old-fashioned Oriental alleys and markets, frescoed churches and shady Muslim graveyards," writes Bruce Clark, author of Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey. But in the following century, war, foreign occupation, fire, the great "exchange of populations", genocide and earthquakes changed the face of the city. Once a place where Muslims, Jews and Greeks lived side by side, it is now almost wholly Greek. There are surprisingly few traces of almost 500 years of Ottoman rule – the White Tower, a handful of Koranic inscriptions, the domes of a Turkish hammam or two and a few minarets.
The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki tells the story of the Sephardic community which dominated much of the city's cultural and economic life from the late 15th century until the early 20th century.
Relics of an earlier era abound either side of Egnatia Odos, the road along which the legions once marched from Constantinople, and which is still the city's main thoroughfare. The second-century Roman forum is being excavated, but half a dozen grandiose Byzantine churches are scattered along the road's length and the triumphal Arch of Galerius is a classic piece of Roman vainglory, with its friezes of fleeing Persians and victorious legions. Just north stands the circular Agios Georgios (St George), also commissioned by the Emperor Galerius (around AD300) and one of the world's oldest Christian churches, with superb mosaics.
Saving the best till last, the highlight of the Archaeological Museum is the Gold of Macedon collection, with its silver-guilt ceremonial wreaths, jewellery and splendid wine vessels. Across the street, the Museum of Byzantine Culture exhibits mosaics, frescoes and wonderful icons that give you some idea of Thessaloniki in its pre-Ottoman golden age. These are the parts of the city's history that its present inhabitants prefer to remember. Its more recent histories, it seems, most feel should remain in the past.
You can find a selection of the best hotels in Thessaloniki as well as beautiful ideas of what to while you are there at We look forward to arrangin a memorable holiday in Greece for you! Best of Greece