Everywhere in the UK seems to be warming up. I received a letter from my Aunt saying that it was almost hot enough to sit outside in the garden, face being basked in glorious warmth. Well, clearly England has stolen all of Scotland’s warmth because as I type this sat in front of the electric fire, outside is a torrent of cold and wet horizontal snow. It is completely miserable. This is the second week. With this in mind I wanted to cook something that was warm, filling and comforting. Enter Greek Olive Bread and Moussaka. This particular Moussaka recipe is a favourite. I love it because of the roasted aubergines that you put in it. I generally buy a big loaf of crusty bread to have with it, but as it turned out I stumbled across the below bread recipe. As my luck would have it I had some left over olives and red onion and coriander so off I went to bake my loaf.
675g unbleached white bread flour
2 tsp salt
25g fresh yeast (I just used one 7g sachet and it was enough)
350ml lukewarm water
5 tbsp olive oil
175g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander or mint
1. Grease baking sheet and then sift flour and salt together into a bowl, making a well in the middle.
2.Blent the yeast with half of the water and then fill the well made in the flour as well as the rest of the water and olive oil. Mix to make a soft dough.
3. Turn out to a floured surface and knead for 8-10mins until dough is smooth. Once smooth place in an oily bowl and cover with oil cling film. Leave to rise for an hour (until double the size).
4. Turn out and punch down. Roll the dough till round and sprinkle the chopped olives, onion and coriander evenly over the surface, then fold inward like wrapping a present so that it is all covered.
5. Again, cover with oily cling film and allow it rise for about 45 mins. As before, it should double in size.
Now on to the grub. The meal serves 8 and takes 40-50minutes to cook. I just deduct the amounts if I am just cooking for two.
You will need the following:
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1kg minced lamb
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp of tomato puree
2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g jar chargrilled aubergines, drained and chopped
300g feta, crumbled
large handful of mint chopped
green salad or bread, or both!
This is such an easy recipe with maximum flavour. It is a great mid week meal, especially if it is cold weather out.
1. Heat oil in pan. Fry the onion and garlic until transparent. Add the mince and fry until cooked through.
2. Tip tomatoes into the an and add a canful of water in with it too. Pop puree and cinnamon in after and season pot generously with salt and pepper. Now go put your feet up and leave mince to simmer for 30 minutes. Half way through pop the aubergines in.
3. Sprinkle with feta and chopped mint over the mince and as it starts to melt serve up. Easy!
The bread perfectly compliments the Moussaka with the infusion of coriander, onion and olives. Make the bread in time for serving and watch as the steam rises out of the loaf as you cut slices – you will really feel warm and fuzzy then. Enjoy!