COOK: Recipes for Moussaka and Finikia

greek festival_John Mindala

For Edible’s Low Summer issue, writer Kelly Ann Smith visited with the church members who run the East End’s biggest Greek Festival, the Hamptons Greek Festival, for a story about how they prepare all the food. And there is so much good food. Thanks to Xanthi Karloutsos, we can give you recipes for two favorites: moussaka and finikia. This year’s festival will take place July 10-13 at 111 St. Andrews Road in Southampton.

And visit for a full list of all the Greek Festivals on Long Island this year.

3 large eggplants
2 pounds hamburger
6 eggs (well beaten)
1 quart milk
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 medium onion (grated)
¼-cup grated cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder or more according to taste
½ stick butter
½ bay leaf
½ stick of cinnamon
1 can of tomato puree2 cups oil (or as much as needed)
Breadcrumbs for coating eggplant

Peel eggplant and slice (sprinkle with salt and pepper,and garlic powder)
Brush with oil and dip into breadcrumbs. Place into on greased baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Place grated onions, tomatoe puree, and hamburger meat, garlic powder, bay leaves, and cinnamon in a sauce pan, stir together and let it cook for about 10 minutes stirring often.
Put milk and butter to heat. (Save some milk and disolve the cornstarch in it.) When the butter has melted, stir in the cornstarch mixture and keep stirring until thick. Take off heat and mix in the beaten eggs and cheese.
Place the cooked eggplant in the bottom of baking pan; spread half of meat mixture and then the egg mixture and then the meat and pour the cream on top.
Bake at 350-375F until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

1 pound sweet butter
1 cup Crisco
12 oz. sugar
12 oz. fresh orange juice
12 oz. vegetable oil
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of finely crushed walnuts
6-8 cups flour

Cream butter and Crisco until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy and white. Beat in oil. Add the egg yolks, beating well. Add the orange juice. Combine baking powder and baking soda with some flour and add to mixture. Gradually add the rest of the flour. Dough should not be hard.
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup sesame
½ teaspoon clove (powder)

Put all ingredients in small pot and let come to a boil, stir.

36 oz  sugar
24 oz  water
12 oz honey
1 lemon peel and juice
2 cinnamon sticks

Prepare the syrup by combining the sugar and water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cinnamon sticks. Let it cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. If film develops on top, skim off with a spoon.

Form the cookies by taking a piece of dough the size of a large walnut and roll in hands to form an oval shape. Make small indentations in the middle and take a small amount of filling and place inside, close and place on cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated moderate oven until golden in color.

Reheat syrup. Dip the cookies into syrup allowing them to absorb some syrup.  Remove the cookies from the syrup with a slotted spoon and sprinkle the tops with ground walnuts. Cover to keep moist.

Featured image via Food Network