My pantry

A movie review and a low fat moussaka

September 15, 2013

moussaka ingredientsImagine yourself in a world where good health care is for the rich, asylum seekers are treated like criminals and the poor are so oppressed that a chance of escape is almost impossible.

It actually sounds similar to a number of countries right now, and we in Australia are certainly not unaffected, so when I saw Elysium last night it kind of cut close to the bone.

Let’s get one thing straight, it is a big, fat Hollywood blockbuster. Not usually my thing, however, I did love District 9 by the same director, Neill Blomkamp  and I do have a very soft spot for Matt Damon (cue Team:America voice).

Being as it was Neill’s first big budget film, he’s allowed to go all silly with effects and shit, and I couldn’t help but notice a few glaring product sponsorships, but you know what? If Bulgari and Versace want to throw him a few hundred thousand to help get it up, who gives a flying? It wasn’t nearly as bad as a Bond film’s product placement and I felt Neill’s story was actually quite a powerful allegory on the current issues that our world is facing.
There is a people smuggling scene that I felt truly captured the desperation, and smugglers preying on the frightened and displaced.

It actually had moments for me as powerful as The Matrix.

When I saw The Matrix, there were so many messages within the fabric of the film that I carried it with me for a long time. I feel similarly about Elysium.

You don’t really know this about me, but I’m generally a massive movie snob. Mister H mostly dreads when it’s my turn to a pick a film, and I admit I’ve picked some real stinky dogs over the years, but I like movies that make me think and feel. Sometimes I leave a movie feeling like i’ve been hit by a train. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

I like art house, and foreign films and quirky directors.

I also bloody love Zoolander, so I guess there are exceptions.zoolander

moussakaI reckon Mark Fennell would probably be shitting his pants now that I’m branching in movie reviews. You think?

This movie review is in no way related to this recipe, but here’s my low fat, super fast moussaka.

Yield : 4-6 serves

What you will need :

  • 1 big eggplant, finely sliced lengthways
  • 2-3 zucchinis, finely sliced lengthways
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • a few sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150g natural Greek yoghurt
  • 150g light ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • pinch nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 40g parmesan cheese, grated with a microplane or very fine grater

What you will need to do:

Preheat oven to 180C

Place your sliced veges on baking paper on trays and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 15-20 mins until just cooked. Remove from oven and set aside.

Cook off your onion in some olive oil, until translucent, add your garlic and when that’s nice a fragrant toss in your lamb mince.

Ensuring your mince is on a high enough heat that it cooks fast, and does not broil, cook until browned before adding your carrot. Throw in your wine and your herbs and spices and give a good stir. Next, chuck in your tomatoes, bay leaves and season.

Turn heat down to a simmer and pop the lid on for about 30 mins. Remove lid for a further 10 minutes to reduce the liquid until it is like a bolognaise. Not too wet, not too dry.

Place a layer of eggplant in the bottom of your oven dish and then spoon over a couple of ladles of your sauce. Repeat with the zucchini, another layer of mince, and then another later of eggplant and the rest of your mince.

layering moussakaMix together in a separate bowl your ricotta, yoghurt and egg, and cover the top of your moussaka with this mix. Add your finely grated parmesan to the top and pop the lot in the oven for 30-40 minutes until it’s golden brown and delicious.


Have you seen Elysium? What did you think?

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  • Reply ellyvegas1 September 15, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I love moussaka. In Bulgaria we make ours with potatoes instead of eggplant soo good!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Oh, yummy! That sounds good. I might throw a layer of potato in next time too. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Reply ksbeth September 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    thanks so much for this it looks wonderful and by the way, i have the exact same movie taste as you, with the occasional joy something blockbustery and random, it is subtitles and art and symbolism all the way for me )

  • Reply Carolyn September 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I love that you chose a Sony film for your first film review! Good movie taste alright. You’ll be pleased to know that on the back of the success of this flick, Sony have signed him up on a movie deal, so there will be more Sci Fi flicks to come. Blomkamp is so hot right now!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I hope he continues to weave such powerful messages through his stories. Please let Sony know I’m open to sponsorship and red carpet tickets 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 16/09/2013, at 8:16 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Helen R September 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

    The ikea play tent is earning itts keep entertaining the terrible twosome while I whip this up for dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      How good are those tents?? Let me know what you think.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 16/09/2013, at 11:49 AM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

      • Reply Helen R September 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Well Alice who has become annoyingly fussy just scoffed a piece and Hugo was shovelling it in yelling “yum! Yum!”.a massive success!

  • Reply Have a laugh on me September 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Loved the movie and all his other ones too – I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd though If I’m honest 😉 Wowsers that kai looks AWESOME bro! 🙂

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      I say I’m not, but then I think I secretly may be a sic-fi nerd too…. with a little fantasy thrown in.

  • Reply larva225 September 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Eggplant terrifies me in the kitchen. Maybe I can make an exception….

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 18, 2013 at 6:36 am

      If you want to, ditch it. Use zucchini (courgette) and layers of potato. One of my readers said she uses potato and I think that sounds great too!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 17/09/2013, at 11:19 PM, Keeping Up With The Holsbys

  • Reply Kate September 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Making this now while the boys sleep, then it has to go in the fridge for a few hours while we visit my Mum in rehab (knee not the bottle), then into the oven. Fingers crossed it survives its stint in the fridge.
    Do you think it would freeze? I like to make double and freeze stuff for buzy/ work days.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys September 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Totally fine in the fridge for a few hours. Yep, I’d freeze it if I could be that organised. I wouldn’t keep it more than 5-6 weeks in the freezer though. Hope your mum’s knee is feeling better!

      • Reply Kate September 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        Wow! Super fast reply! Thanks 🙂
        Nothing lasts in the freezer longer than about 3 weeks. I try to plan ahead to keep myself saine and to save money on takeaway. Yay! Dinner is sorted

  • Reply Her | Keeping Up With The Holsbys February 3, 2014 at 7:37 am

    […] haven’t written about many films here, the last one was Elysium, because I’m no ‘David and Margaret’, but sometimes a movie just reaches in past […]

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