Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Tag: Greek

Awesome Moussaka

Recipe from a Greek guy. I saw almost the exact recipe on Hairy Bikers too, from a Greek Orthodox priest so it must be authentic. It was his mum’s recipe. Serves four very generously.

  • olive oil
  • 1 large courgette, sliced
  • 2 aubergines or 1 giant one, sliced

Pan fry gently until coloured on both sides. Set aside.

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed and chopped

fry gently in the oil, add a bit more if you need to. When softened:

  • 500g lamb mince

Fry until coloured

  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 0.5 tbs fresh thyme

Cook briefly. Add

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 10 basil leaves chopped
  • 10 sprigs parsley, leaves only chopped
  • salt and pepper

Add to the pan with a dash of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make a Bechamel sauce:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour

Melt the butter, add the flour and stir around. Add

  • 750ml milk

Heat and stir until thick. Add

  • 100g grated parmesan
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Stir until the cheese is melted. Add

  • 3 egg yolks

Stir madly with a whisk to blend thoroughly. Now assembly time (plus 1 more ingredient)

  • 3 potatoes very thinly sliced.

Layer the potatoes over the base of an oven-proof dish. Now layer over the sliced cooked aubergine, then the sliced cooked courgette. Tip in the meat and tomato mixture and press down over. Top with the bechamel sauce mix. Finally

  • 25-50g grated parmesan

Sprinkle over the top. Now bake for 35-40 minutes at 180C but keep an eye on it and turn the heat down a bit if it is looking scorched. It is a meal in  a dish with plenty of vegetables inside. When cooked, leave 15-20 minutes to rest, it will taste even better.

An alternative and very good recipe is Lamb and Artichoke Moussaka from BBC Good Food.  This is very similar, but using artichoke hearts and not courgette. Layer with potato first then half the mince then aubergine, then half the mince, then fried artichoke heart. Top with bechamel sauce and bake.


Greek potatoes, halloumi and asparagus

Great with a grill or you can eat this as a light meal. Use quantities according to your needs.

  • New potatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into even chunks, about 2cm cubed. Put in a baking tray, toss in oil, season and bake in an oven  at 190C for 30 minutes

  • Fresh asparagus, cut into 4cm lengths
  • Pack of halloumi cheese, cut into 2cm chunks  (serves up to 6 – for more servings open another packet)

Toss into the potatoes. Cook a further 15 minutes. It is done when the potatoes and asparagus are tender and the halloumi is tinged brown. Discard the garlic and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.


Greek Oven-Grilled Chicken

This works for chicken quarters or a spatch-cocked whole chicken. First marinade your bird.

  • Chicken
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mix, then rub all over the chicken. Put everything in a plastic bag and massage the marinade into the chicken. Squeeze air out of the bag, tie off and chill for an hour or two – or more.

Heat the oven to 190C. Put portions or spatch-cocked chicken on a pan and oven roast for between 40 minutes and an hour until cooked. You can finish it under the grill if you like it charred and crispy. You can also cook this over a BBQ, or cook in the oven and finish on the BBQ. Great with Greek potatoes, halloumi and asparagus

Greek Chicken Tray-bake

Looks after itself. Quantities are irrelevant, just use as much as you need!

Heat the oven to 200C (fan 180C)

  • Chicken breasts, thighs or a selection of chicken joints
  • New potatoes halved

Place in a roasting tin and toss about with a good glug of olive oil, and seasoning.

Roast 30 minutes

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of black olives
  • Feta cheese crumbled
  • Fresh marjoram or oregano leaves
  • dash of red wine vinegar

Add to the roasting pan and return to the oven for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are soft in the middle. Serve with a green vegetable or salad.

Make your own pitta breads

You might think – for 90p a pack of six in Tesco what’s the point? But these are awesome.

  • 500gm plain flour
  • 4gm dried yeast (half a sachet)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • Glass of warm water 40 deg C

Ideally, use a food processor. If not you may reconsider going to Tesco.

Pour the dry ingredients into the processor. Give it a whizz to aerate the flour. While the motor is running gently and slowly pour in the water. The mix will start to look like crumbs. Very gently add more water a splash at a time until the dough forms a ball. Whizz for another 40 seconds. Now take the dough out and let it rise in a warm place covered in oiled cling film or plastic bag. After about an hour when it has grown by at least 50% it is ready. Pull off a fistful of dough and roll thinly, about 4mm thick. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan (no oil) , and cook the pittas on the dry pan turning once when the under surface has brown spots. When cooked through from both sides, keep warm in a kitchen towel while you make the rest. This mix makes about 6 large pittas.

Tzaziki dip or sauce

Serve as a sauce with grilled chicken or as a dip

  • 125ml plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • grinding of black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cucumber

Grate the cucumber coarsely. Get it as dry as possible by draining in a sieve and/or patting dry with kitchen paper. Now mix everything together.  That was easy!

Greek lemon chicken skewers

Serves four:

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano or marjoram
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Chop the chicken into 2cm cubes. Mix everything together and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

The above plus

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Thread on skewers and grill until charred on the outside and no pink shows on the inside.

Serve with pittas and tzatziki

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