Oh, wait. Speaking of cookin'... did anySibe give you guys my mom's secret family recipe for Moussaka yet?
No? Not yet?
Guess I'd better hop on it, then, since I'm on KP Duty today. Remember, as Dave ... er ... I mean Damianos told you, this is our mom's version of her mom's version which is a very Americanized version of the Greek version of Moussaka. Sheesh. I think Ammy should have written this one up for you! Anyroo, I've shared other family recipes with you like my mom's Cabbage Salad complete with her Secret Salad Dressing, and her Baked Empanadas, and other members of the pack have given out a few (I think we need to link to all her recipes in the sidebar somewhere, don't you?) SO... what's one more, right? Let's get cooking!
Our Mom's Version of Her Mom's Version of a Very Americanized Version of the Greek Version of Moussaka
by Zim of the Army of Four
Here are the main ingredients:
1 bag of Boca Crumbles (or a pound of ground beef)
Goya Adobo seasoning (or salt & pepper)
Cook some zucchini and set it aside. I think my mom used two zukes. She peeled them & cut them into about quarter- to half-inch slices that looked like little Frisbees or something. She nuked 'em. Don't make 'em mushy, just cook "al dente".
Cook some rice and set it aside. Mom used long grain instead of a shorter "sticky rice" like she uses for other stuff; she used maybe a little more than a cup.
You can do those steps even a day ahead, if you want.
If you're using beef, start browning it in a big skillet. Chop the onion (mom used a pretty big one) - add that to the beef. If you're using Boca, put some olive oil in the skillet, start browning your onions, then throw in the frozen Boca. I swear I saw my mom throw some minced garlic in there. A couple cloves. While it's all browning/thawing, shake in the Goya Adobo (or salt & pepper), and the cinnamon. I'll bet you'd like to know how much cinnamon, wouldn't you? It doesn't give an amount on the Secret Family Recipe card I stole out of the box borrowed for today's post. Mom used a generous teaspoon full.
Speaking of generous, at this point, you might want to let your special canine or feline friends sample the rice or zuke. Since there's onion in with the meat, that's a no-go, but rice or zucchini sounds good.
Add the raisins to the meat mixture. Again, I think someone left all the amounts off the recipe card on purpose. Hmmm... Mom used a good, hearty handful. Then she tasted one and said, "Ooh, these are so fresh!" and threw some more in. Let me remind all of you that raisins are on that Forbidden Foods List for pups and kit-cats, so if your biped drops some on the floor, don't eat them!
Meanwhile... in another pot on the stove... make a white sauce. Melt some butter (a couple tablespoons), stir in some flour (again, a couple tablespoons) and get it all smooth. Take it off the heat and pour in about a cup and a half of milk. (Mom used skim. Go with whatever's in your magic cold box.) Whisk it around a bunch. Splash it on the stove top and wish you had used a bigger saucepan; that's what our mom did! Put it back on the heat and keep whisking until it thickens. I'd say medium to medium-high heat. Apparently the old family recipe doesn't contain amounts or temperatures. Add in some grated Parmesan cheese - about a third of a cup.
Spray a large, shallow casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add rice, zucchini, and meat mixture. Pour cheese/white sauce over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F until bubbly, about 30 minutes. When done, it should look like this:
You can sprinkle a little more Parmesan on top when you serve it. As Damianos said, "OPA!" It's great! Well, Mom and Dad liked it. Me and Dave liked the rice!
So there you have it. Pretty straightforward. As my mom said, the key "ingredient" to make things simpler that our grandma had that our mom doesn't is to have our mom and Aunt Janet do the dishes. Ha roo roo roo! Yeah, well, she has us, though! Right, Dave? We're all too happy to help police up all those dirty dishes!
I wish you'd remember to call me 'Damianos'!
Ha roo roo roo - OPA!
I hope you'll give it a try! Let us know how it comes out!