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dimi_pat

Active member
I love moussaka when it is made well, but I think it's gross when it's not made well. Particularly, when the eggplant gets slimy, I can't eat it.

That being said, I have had many, many versions of moussaka that I thought were delicious. I got the recipe from one such person and unfortunately when I made it, the moussaka was slimy.

I have no idea what went wrong because I followed the recipe. However, the recipe was handwritten and the individual may have assumed I know how to handle eggplant. I don't. I am wondering if I overcooked it, or if I had to do something to the eggplant to drain out some of the moisture? Or maybe I overcooked it?!
 

PemiKanavos

Administrator
Staff member
Did you drain the eggplant? That would be the most obvious reason. Over cooking it would break it down making it mushy.
 

Rhea

New member
Eggplant must be salted and left to sit for at least 20 minutes to release its moisture. Before frying, pat each slice dry with paper towels
 

k_tsoukalas

Administrator
This is a mistake I have made only once - not salting and draining the eggplant. One has to get some of the moisture out so it doesn't get slimy.
 

Cooking Greek Style Octopus

One of the things I like about Greek cuisine is the octopus! It's so tender and flavorful. I get it a lot when I am in Greece and only a few times in the United States. I want to learn how to do that. In particular I want to know:
  • Choosing the Right Octopus: What should I look for when buying octopus? Are there any specific types or sizes that work best?
  • Tenderizing Process: I’ve heard that tenderizing the octopus is crucial. What methods do you recommend? I’ve heard of everything from beating it to simmering it in a pot. What works best?
  • Cooking Techniques: Should I grill it, bake it, or cook it in a stew? I'm aiming for something that's traditionally Greek.
  • Marination and Seasonings: What are the best herbs, spices, or marination techniques to use? I know olive oil and lemon are staples, but are there any other must-have seasonings?
Any advice you can give is welcome!

Does this look like a good koliva recipe?

I am planning a memorial service coming up in about two weeks. The person who makes the koliva for everyone in the church is going to be out of town, and I can't find another person to do it. So I thought I'd make it.

I found this recipe - does it look like it would work?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup black raisins
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • Garnish: pomegranate seeds, whole almonds, and powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preparing the Wheat:
  • Rinse the wheat berries thoroughly in a strainer under cold running water.
  • Place the wheat in a large pot and add water until it's about 2 inches above the wheat level.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until they are tender but not mushy, adding more water as necessary.
  • Drain the wheat and spread it out on a towel or a large baking tray to dry out completely, preferably overnight.
  1. Toasting Ingredients:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Spread the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-8 minutes, till golden; be vigilant as they can burn quickly.
  • Repeat this process with the almonds and the walnuts, ensuring each is nicely toasted but not burnt.
  1. Mixing the Koliva:
  • Once the wheat is dry, combine it in a large bowl with powdered sugar, toasted walnuts, toasted sesame seeds, toasted almonds, golden and black raisins, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Stir the mixture gently to combine.
  1. Assembling the Dish:
  • Mound the mixture onto a large serving platter, shaping it into a dome with your hands or a spoon.
  • Decorate the top with whole almonds and pomegranate seeds creating a cross or other religious symbols as is traditional.
  • Just before serving, sift powdered sugar over the top to cover.

Using Greek Manouri Cheese I Found

I tried Manouri cheese for the first time after finding it at a local Greek store.

For those who aren't familiar, manouri is a semisoft, fresh white whey cheese made in Greece from goat or sheep milk. It's got this incredibly creamy texture with a hint of tanginess that pairs beautifully with honey or preserved fruits.

Have any of you tried it? And if so, what are your favorite ways to enjoy it? I've had it crumbled over a Greek salad, and it was delightful, but I'm on the hunt for more suggestions. I tried it in Tiropita, too, and it gave the filling an interesting flavor. I liked it. What else can I do?

Getting to know the different Greek spirits

I am learning about Greek spirits as my next quest to understanding Greek culture and cuisine. Of course, I know about ouzo. I went out to eat the other day and they brought over a different spirit I hadn't tried "on the house" - they called it masticha. Here are the spirits I now know about:

- Ouzo - Tastes like anise - I like it!
- Masticha - Made from mastic resin. I also loved it - it was sweet and delicate - tasted a little like evergreen but not too overpowering.
- Metaxa - Greek brandy, I've had it before but not my cup of tea. Not a huge fan of brandy
- Raki - I have Cretan friends so... I drink this with them. It's strong but pleasant, and it seems to go well

What did I miss? I am sure I missed something!

Traditions associated with Greek coffee?

When I visit people in Greece, it usually involves Greek coffee, a cold glass of water, and whatever sweets there are around - like Loukoumi, spoon sweets, fruit.. it seems like it's all about hospitality and spending time together, while sharing the bounty of what you have.

One time, a yiayia actually did a "reading" using coffee grounds. I didn't understand all the Greek, but the reading was fun and lighthearted and I wondered how she decided what to say.

Do you guys have similar experiences? The social aspect has been a big part of it for me.
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