Skillet Moussaka

d12f9d29bf86ba8e69c134926eb859b0I worked in downtown Detroit for many years, my office being but two blocks from Greek town. I thus became something of an expert on Greek food.

Moussaka is a favorite of mine and I’ve made several casseroles over the year, but this recipe is a good but quick substitute. It comes together quite fast, and tastes surprisingly good.

Great for a quick meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced.
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into diced chunks about 1/2 inch each.
  2. Brown beef with garlic in skillet; drain.
  3. Add eggplant, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  5. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add milk mixture. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened
  7. Power white sauce over meat mixture. Top with cheese.
  8. Place skillet in oven about 6 inches from broiler and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned. If you don’t want to turn oven on, you can cover the skillet and just cook until the cheese melts.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make a traditional roux of flour and butter if you wish instead of the egg, but the carbs will be higher.

SOURCE: Low Carb Yum

Horiatiki (Greek Salad)

Greek-Salad-280x231I spent years working two blocks from Greek Town in Detroit. So I know Greek food quite well. This is standard just about everywhere, but there are purists and there are purists.

Since this is peasant food, every Greek on the face of the earth has their own recipe, and they vary to a degree, but not too much. I’m giving you the one that I like best, but will note some of the variations.

What a true horiatiki does not contain is lettuce. This makes it great fare for leisurely meals or for the buffet, since lettuce only wilts.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c of tomatoes (use any variety, from cherry to romas), in bite-sized chunks (do note that the seedier types will be more juicy. Small cherry varieties can be left whole to minimize this)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and then chunked
  • 1 half of a fairly good-sized red onion, cut in rings, not razor thin, more like 1/4 inch
  • 1 small green pepper, in a large dice
  • 2/3 c beets, canned or pickled (this was common in Detroit, not so much elsewhere but a personal favorite)Blot dry before adding to minimize the bleeding.
  • 1 c olives kalamata or black as you desire. I prefer the tang of the kalamata.
  • 1/2 c pepperoncini peppers for garnish
  • 1/2 c or more feta cheese (purists like it in one chunk laid on the top, others are fine with diced up)
  • juice of one lemon (purists again use red wine or no acidic addition at all)
  • 2/3 c EVOO
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Assemble all your veggies in a bowl
  2. Whisk the lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper together and pour over the salad, garnish with the pepperoncini.
  3. Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side and allow people to drizzle what they want onto the salad.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: If you leave the salad undressed, it can be stored for several days quite well. If dressed, a couple of days is about all you can expect. Use the best quality feta you can get, the brick forms I find are better than the crumbled form.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

chickensouvFor many years I worked in Detroit, and my office was only two short blocks from Greek Town. So I ate lots of Greek food. I surely miss it too, and am always eager to make a batch of pastitsio or hummus. This is one of my favorites.

The sauce called tzatziki is traditional, and if you get this right, the rest falls nicely into place. A great meal for the summer time, since this all works well on the grill.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Meat:

  • One chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce:

  • 2/3 c of Greek yogurt
  • a six-inch piece of cucumber, peeled and seeded and grated
  • 2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the Sandwich:

  • pita breads (4-6)
  • sliced tomatoes or cherry halved
  • romaine lettuce or baby lettuces (2 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp choppedĀ  fresh oregano

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wrap the pita in foil and set aside to heat either on the side of the grill or in the oven.
  2. Place the chicken in a plastic bag and add the rest of the marinade ingredients, massage until all is coated. Refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Gather your lettuce and tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Scatter the oregano over and drizzle just enough olive oil, while stirring to coat. Set aside.
  4. Add all your sauce ingredients together and mix well. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  5. Skewer the chicken and then place on a hot grill and cook until done. You may baste with additional marinade as they cook.
  6. Take a pita bread and place some of the tomato mixture down the center and then 3-4 pieces of chicken. Spoon on some sauce.
  7. Eat!

SERVES: 4-6

NOTES: You could use flour tortillas if you can’t get pitas. Pitas are just thicker and actually can be cut in half and opened. You could place the sandwich innards inside if you wish, depending on hour sturdy the walls are. Some pitas are thicker than others. This dish is traditionally made with lamb but pork or chicken is often substituted. If using pork, a good pork tenderloin works well.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton