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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love sick in "Global"

       Although I try to focus on my plans as that friend I mentioned in my first entry had suggested  "focus on yourself Leslie" I have been stricken by lovesickness once again.  Just when I feel I have left the past behind and can move on peacefully, he sneaks up on me and my heart gets heavy and my stomach gets a sinking feeling.  The past four days have consisted of attempts to become more social, it's the only thing I haven't tried that may heal me permanently, it's almost as if someone is switching it on and off at their own will.

       As I lay in bed Friday evening still heavy hearted, I decided to do something to break me out of it, so I picked up the Julia Child biography I had been reading and opened it to where I'd left off, as I read the next page guess what?  She had written various entries in her diary of being "dumped" by a guy she was seeing in New York  in the thirties.  She had believed he was "the one" but one day he just left her a "Dear Julia letter" stating he was moving back to California and didn't love her, awww poor Julia.  She reveals she was devasted and guess what else?  She claims to have gotten a stomach ache from it, just like me.  You can call me crazy if you want, but I see these things as signs, telling me I'll be fine, I mean she was and ended up with a nice guy in the end, that's not all I saw, I saw success in my future, it was a nice boost for me and once again I was able to focus.

     Fourth quarter began last week (Jan 3,2011) "Global Cuisine" or "Global", which teaches cuisines from around the world, from Italy to England to Iberia and South Africa.   It started out beautifully first day was lecture, second day we got to cook Greek food, I took on the Moussaka, which consists of potatoes, baked eggplant, ground lamb and a thick layer of bechamel on the very top.  I don't believe I had ever tried it up until then and I have to say it was delicious.  If you pay attention, you can taste the spices mixed into the ground lamb (cinnamon, oregano) and the lovely bechamel sauce helps it along by adding smoothness and a light savory flavor which gives a sense of comfort.  Moussaka is like the Shepherds pie of Greece, but while they may look the same, there is a definate difference in ingredients and taste, give it a try you just might like it.

What I also find interesting about this class is it entails learning about the history of food in different countries as well.  The history of food in a nutshell is as old as the history of man.  Tomorrow it's Italian and I am going to attempt to take on the Ossobuco, which is basically a braised lamb shank, can't wait!  Below find the awesome recipe for Moussaka and thick bechamel sauce, don't feel overwhelmed by this recipe it's quite easy to prepare, just remember to get all ingredients and tools together before starting (mis en place) have fun, enjoy!

 

moussaka
8 oz onions-small dice
1 1/2 clove garlic
1 oz olive oil
1 3/4 pound ground lamb or beef
1 1/4 pound tomatoes diced
2 oz red wine
1tablespoon chopeed parsley
3/4tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds of eggplant
2 potatoes
breadcrumbs as needed
parmesan as needed
1 lasagna pan
1 cookie sheet
      Peel the eggplant and slice, place on a sheet pan and coat each slice with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, bake at 350 until golden and hold.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil add lamb, degrease add diced tomatoes and cinnamon add red wine and reduce by half, season and set aside.  Sprinkle casserole dish with breadcrumbs and layer potatoes over them.  Layer eggplant on top of potato slices, then some lamb mixture, eggplant, lamb and finish with eggplant.  Now your ready for the bechamel sauce, below find the recipe for thick bechamel, very easy, don't feel intimidated, take your time. 

Thick Bechamel Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 egg yolks
parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Cool the sauce add the egg yolks and mix with whisk add parmesan until you have a mashed potato like consistancy, pour over the top of Moussaka, sprinkle more parmesan over the top bake at 375 for about an hour or until golden brown. 

           Oh! I almost forgot to mention I have set a new goal for myself, since I am intent on leaving Florida for Europe, I thought I should have a date, so I chose two months after graduation, which is May, 2012!  I feel it in my bones, Europe beckons and I will answer!  I borrowed an instructional cd from the library to learn Italian, after all if we are going to Europe we should study it's languages and Italy is definately on the agenda, ciao! for now, thank you for reading, take care
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