One of my favorite dishes from the Egyptian Cuisine. It's easy to make but it does take some time to prepare all the different components of this mouth watering dish.
This casserole consists of 3 layers: Sautéed zucchini slices, ground beef, and béchamel.
3 pounds zucchini, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar/mozzarella)
salt and pepper
3 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white flour
1 tsp. salt
-Sauté zucchini until golden brown and wilted. Then place in 9x13 baking dish.
Note: This step is necessary to take the extra water out of the zucchini. I have tried many methods (grilling in grill pan, pan frying, oven baking...) and I found the best/easiest/quickest method is to sauté the zucchini in a wok with a little bit of ghee or olive oil on high heat.
-Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in skillet and sauté onion until golden brown. Add ground beef, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until beef is cooked, then place on top of zucchini as your second layer.
-Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of beef layer.
-To make béchamel: Melt butter on medium high heat, once melted add flour and whisk for a few seconds then start gradually pouring milk while whisking continuously.
The trick to a creamy béchamel is to whisk quickly and make sure you add milk gradually while you whisk away any lumps. Once you've added all the milk keep whisking til sauce thickens slightly then turn off heat. Don't forget to whisk in the salt!
-Pour into baking dish.
-Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until béchamel has a nice golden color.
-Enjoy with a side of rice/quinoa and salad.
*Why ghee you ask?
Because ghee is a natural unprocessed fat. It's one of the healthiest fats you can cook with. Read this article to learn more.