Thursday, July 22, 2010

Moussaka Casserole

Wednesday is my day off, so I figured I'd use all my free time to get a jump start on cooking for the rest of my busy week. I seriously did work...made both Wednesday and Thursday nights dinner, and made a cream sauce for the pasta recipe I'll be making tonight. I knew I wouldn't be around much yesterday between an Abby's Table demo and then seeing Steve Miller Band at Edgefield last night, so preparing Thursday's meal ahead was a must.

So I'm in the middle of my cooking when my dad calls. My friend Jamie and I had been trying to win Justin Bieber tickets all week. We couldn't justify actually buying them, seeing as he's barely 16 and we are 22. But we figured if we won them, it would be fate. Well, we didn't win, but my dad calls Wednesday night around 5:30 asking if i can drop my plans for the night. He scored two Justin Bieber tickets; apparently one of the radio giveaway pairs that no one ever claimed. Excited as could be, I started getting ready in order to make it to the concert by 7.

Well another minor detail about my busy week, I booked myself to dogsit for one family and water plants for another, both things I had planned on taking care of that evening. So basically, I had to run all over town making sure I tended to those responsibilities, resulting in a major stress meltdown for me. It was rough. Thankfully, it all melted away when we got to the Rose Garden to see Sean Kingston perform "Fire Burning". But unfortunately, I didn't ever have the time or appetite to eat my Moussaka that I'd worked so hard on all afternoon. I'm happy to report that it did get the parental stamp of approval, so I'm sure you'll love it too!

Moussaka is a Greek dish that normally calls for tomato sauce and cheese, so I never actually tried it when I was living there. I found this recipe, which uses pumpkin in place of the tomato, and figured it was fate. You all know I can't pass up cooking allergy-free Greek food!

Moussaka Casserole

1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground buffalo
1 walla walla onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 c. pumpkin
1 c. water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle oregano, basil and 1/4 tsp. of the thyme over slices. Bake 12-15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the buffalo, onions and garlic and cook until meat is no longer raw, about 8 minutes. Add the pumpkin, water, salt and remaining thyme and bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat.

In an 8x8 baking dish, lay half of the eggplant slices along the bottom. Spread with half the meat mixture. Cover with the remaining slices, then spread the rest of the meat mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

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