Mousakas

Reimagined.

Ingredients:

FOR THE STEAK:

  • Oil
  • A beef steak (around 200g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Some oregano and rosemary
  • 25g Butter
  • Salt to taste

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE:

  • 40g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 0.5l of milk
  • a pinch of cumin
  • salt to taste

FOR THE EGGPLANT PURÉE:

  • 2 big eggplants
  • olive oil
  • half a small clove of garlic
  • honey
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

FOR THE POTATO CHIPS:

  • 1 big potato
  • oil
  • paprika
  • salt to taste

FOR THE CHILI POWDER:

  • 10 chili peppers

Tools:

  • Pan
  • Small pot
  • Thermometer
  • A pair of tongs
  • Fouet
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden spoon or heatproof spatula
  • Food processor
  • Fine sieve
  • Oven
  • Parchment paper
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Bowl
  • A small biscuit cutter or a water bottle cap

Execution:

FOR THE STEAK:

  • Place a pan on high heat and let it get very hot.
  • Pat the steak with a paper towel until it’s completely dry on the outside.
  • Season it well with salt and make sure it goes everywhere.
  • Put enough oil to the pan to barely cover its bottom and add the steak.
  • Sauté well from one side until a very brown crust starts forming then turn it.
  • Wait until the other side starts getting a nice colour, then add the butter, garlic, oregano and rosemary to the pan.
  • Tilt the pan and use a spoon to contiguously poor the melted aromatic butter over the rack. This is called arroser. Repeat for a couple of minutes.
  • Continue doing this until the center of the steak reaches 52C.
  • Remove the steak from the pan, place it in a container along with the garlic, oregano, rosemary and most of the butter, cover with aluminium foil and let rest - for at least 10 mins.

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL:

  • Add a small pot over medium-low heat.
  • Add the butter and when it’s melted, add the flour.
  • Stir well using the fouet and cook for a couple minutes.
  • Start adding the milk in doses. When the mixture thickens add the next dose. There should be 3-4 doses in total.
  • When the sauce is ready add the cumin and salt to adjust it to your liking.
  • Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.

FOR THE PURÉE:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Put the eggplants in the oven and bake them until a fork pierces them with zero resistance (around 30-45 minutes).
  • Cut them in half and use a spoon to remove all of the flesh and discard the skins. Then, cut them very finely with a knife.
  • Put the eggplants in a sieve and let them strain off all their liquid. It will take around 15 minutes.
  • Add the eggplants, garlic and a few touches of olive oil in a food processor and blend well for 5 minutes until the purée is very smooth.
  • Adjust the consistency with adding more olive oil and the taste by adding balsamic vinegar and honey.
  • Adjust the salt and store in a container.

FOR THE POTATO CHIPS:

  • Put a pot with oil on medium-high heat.
  • Use a peeler to peel the potato and cut thin strips of it.
  • Use a very small biscuit cutter or a water bottle cap to cut out small potato disks.
  • Put the potato disks in a bowl with cold water, rinse them well, then dry them using a paper towel.
  • Put the potato disks in the oil and fry them until golden brown.
  • Put them in a container with a paper towel and salt them.

FOR THE CHILI POWDER:

  • Put the chilis in an oven set to 90C and bake until fully dehydrated (around 2 hours).
  • Put the chilis in a food processor and blend well until they become a powder.

Platting:

  • Transfer the purée into a squeeze bottle.
  • Make a big dot with the purée in the center of the plate.
  • Carve the steak as to form two rectangles and place them on top of the purée.
  • Make little dots with the béchamel on the plate.
  • Place the potato chips unevenly on the plate as shown in the image above.
  • Poor the chili powder on one side of the plate.
  • Draw a line with the béchamel sauce on the side of the plate if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Theory, tips:

  • Although counter-intuitive the liquid that comes out of the baked aubergines is pure bitterness and it should be discarded. That’s why it is essential to strain the eggplants before blending them.
  • For the chili powder, if you are living in a hot and dry environment you can hang the fresh chilis using twine and let them dehydrate naturally for a few days.
  • To take the temperature of the meat, pierce it with the thermometer in its thickest part. In this case, place it at the center of the steak.
  • The suggested order to prepare the different parts of the dish is: chili powder, purée, chips, béchamel, steak.

Acknowledgements:

  • Eggplant purée technique kindly borrowed from here
George Fotiadis
George Fotiadis
Computer Science student

I’m interested in highly scalable systems, such as datacenters, and distributed machine learning.