Koussa bil bechamel (zucchini baked in béchamel sauce)

Serves 6-8
Ingredients for béchamel sauce(white sauce)

3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 egg

remaining ingredients

2 lbs zucchini sliced at an angel 1/4"
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 tsp basil dried
1/2 tsp garlic minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 (1/2 lbs) portion of assag see recipe under meats

béchamel recipe

in a heavy saucepan melt the butter, add flour salt and pepper, stir continuously on medium heat till flour has cooked through, color will be pink and have a nutty  aroma, about 7 minutes (be very careful this needs to be watched and can burn easily).  Once you have achieved the pink color   add the milk slowly while stirring vigorously, bring up to a boil then reduce to  low continue cooking/stirring till thick and flour has completely incorporated into milk approx. 15 min.  Add cheese continue stirring vigorously.  Temper the egg by adding a bit of the sauce into the egg and stir a bit, add the egg into the béchamel sauce, give a couple of stirs till incorporated.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine zucchini, salt, pepper, basil and garlic and mix all ingredients together.
In a large frying pan on high heat the oil, once the oil has heated add all the seasoned zucchini and bring down heat to medium high.  The zucchini does not have to be cooked in batches.  Stir gently and cook for about 10 minutes till softened and slightly wilted.
In a baking dish place half the zucchini, top with assag (beef mixture), then dollop 4 tbs béchamel spread out the sauce over the meat as well as possible. Add remaining zucchini, top with the remaining béchamel sauce and smooth.  Finish dish with the reserved cheese and bake at 350 for 35 min's or till bubbly and golden.



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