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From Gina, Fla, 02-12-2002
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Msg ID 0812025
Hello Everyone,

We went to a Greek Church Festival on Friday and had Mousakka for lunch along with some Spanikopeta and Dolmades. The cuisine prepared by the church ladies was terrific!! Seems I can't get the immage of Mousakka out of my head even as I visited our Farmer Stand nearby. There he had gorgeous, plump purple eggplants!!

So, for dinner tonight I am making Mousakka with a nice Greek Salad and for dessert, an old fashioned Coconut Pineapple Layer Cake. This Mousakka recipe makes 2 casseroles, letting you freeze one for later use.

Here are the recipes:

Double Mousakka Casseroles
serves 16

This recipe makes 2 casseroles. Freeze one for later use.

2 medium eggplants
2 T. salt
4 large potatoes
3 lbs. ground sirloin
1 large onion, chopped
3 T. olive oil
1 c. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. oregano
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. fresh rosemary
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. cinnamon
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6 oz. can tomato paste

Bechemel Sauce:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. flour
5 c, milk
5 large eggs, beaten
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. white pepper
1/4 t. ground nutmeg

Cut eggplant into 1 inch slices, salt them as you place them in a colander to drain. Let stand for 45 minutes.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cover slices with water and set aside.

Brown meat in a skillet, crumble as you go, drain and set aside.

Saute onion in a skillet in olive oil til transluscent. Add garlic and parsley stirring as you cook. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir. Add all the tomato sauces and cinnamon, add the crumbled meat and stir to blend. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain potato slices. Add oil to a skillet and arrange slices in a single layer in hot skillet. Fry potato slices til golden. Drain and set aside. Repeat with remaining potato slices.

Drain the eggplant slices, dry them in between paper towels. Coat them with flour and in smae skillet, fry the slices til golden. Drain and set aside.

Grease 2 13x9 inch baking pans, layer them with 1/4 each of potato slices, meat mixture and eggplant slices. Repeat until all is gone.

Maiking the Bechemel Sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, add the flour whisking til smooth. Cook mixture for one minute whisking constantly. Gradually add the milk, cooking over medium heat and whisking til a sauce begins to form. As it becomes bubbly, gradually and slowly stir in 1/4 of the sauce into the beaten eggs, blend well and add the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, stir in Parmesan cheese, add seasonings and blend well.

Spread Bechemel Sauce over each casserole. Freeze one and bake the other for 1 hour at 350.

Peasant Salad

1 cucumber
salt
2 large tomatoes, washed and cut in chunks
1/2 t. sugar
1 romaine lettuce heart
1 scallion, chopped
6 oz. feta cheese
2 t. dried oregano
1 T. fresh chopped dill
2 T. capers, rinsed and drained
16 kalamata olives
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. virgin olive oil

Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise and then across in half moons.
Shred the lettuce and place the chopped tomatoes over and layer the half moons of cucumber over on plate. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and lightly crumble feta over. Sprinkle oregano on it. Scatter the dill, capers and olives over. Whisk the lemon juice and oil together with the sugar and salt to taste. Drizzle salad dressing over just before serving.

Nanny's Famous Coconut-Pineapple Cake
Source: Southern Living's Dessert of the Year 1997

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 c. lemon-lime soda
3 c. cake flour, sifted
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. lemon extract
1 15 1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 bag of flaked coconut

Butter sides and bottom of 3 9-inch round cake tins, lining bottoms with wax paper and buttering that too.

Drain the pineapple reserving 3/4 c. of the juice. Remove 1/4 c. of the juice for the frosting. Reserve the crushed pineapple for the filling.

Crean butter til creamy gradually adding the sugar til fluffy and creamy. Add eggs one at a time til well blended.

Combine 1/2 c. of pineapple juice with the lemon-lime soda. Add flour to the butter mixture alternatley with the lemon-lime mixture. Begin and end with flour. Stir in flavorings and blend well. Pour into prepared cake tins.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.

Spread 3/4 c. pineapple filling between cake layers and remaining filling on top of cake leaving edges clean so that you can pipe in rosettes of frosting all around edge.. Spread cream cheese frosting on sides. Sprinkle coconut flakes all over the sides.

Pineapple Filling:
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 c. reserved drained crushed pineapple
1 c. water

Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a saucepot, stir in pineapple and water. Cook over medium heat til nice and thickened. Cool before spreading. This makes 3 cups of filling.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. of powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 c. reserved pineapple juice
1 t. vanilla extract

Cream butter and cream cheese til blened, slowly add the powdered sugar, pineapple juice and vanilla. Blend well til fluffy.


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