My Kitchen, My World…Greece!

There are two kinds of people – Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek.

Well, at least that’s what the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding assumed. He could be right, you know? Life is a whole lot simpler there, or at least it seems like it is anyway. This week’s choice of Greece comes from Karen at somethingssweetbykaren. See, I am not picking all of the countries myself, and yet I still have a personal Greek vacation story or two to bore your pants off.

In 2003, Jon and I spent a week in Athens, just wandering the city and taking little day trips to some of the outlying islands. I wish I could remember the name of it, but one day we took the ferry over to a little island that apparantly no one ever goes to except, well, us. I had the best chocolate mousse cake there as we sat on the beach and watched the sun set. That was our third wedding anniversary, and if I remember correctly (and I do) Jon gave me a really great 3 stone diamond necklace while we sat there eating that cake. (he’s a keeper – ladies, don’t get any ideas about stealing him.)

Then, on our Mediterranean cruise last year, we hit several ports around Greece, including Athens, Rhodes, and Olympia, the site of the original Olympic Games. I won’t keep you with the details of everything we did there…but I will insert a few pics to make this a little more entertaining.

In this pic, if you look in the bottomish righthand side, you’ll see two people sitting – that’s Jon & I. For some reason, I love this picture…

So, you’re asking, what did you make to EAT?? Well, here it is…Pastitsio, a pasta casserole that is Oh So Yummy.

serves 6
1 (16 ounce) package Ziti Pasta Noodles
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 T. Miced garlic (in water)
2 Green onions, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
ground black pepper to taste
Few sprigs fresh Oregano (or dried, to taste)
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
Pinch Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook garlic, onions and beef until meat is browned. Add tomatoes, pepper and oregano. Stir and cook about 5 minutes. Add in 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese.
Lightly coat a casserole or baking dish with olive oil and spread 1/2 the cooked pasta in it. Add the meat sauce and cover with the remaining pasta.
Melt butter in a saucepan and blend in flour and nutmeg. Slowly add milk, stirring almost to boiling. In a bowl, blend remaining parmesan cheese and egg yolk and slowly add to the milk sauce, stirring constantly.
Pour sauce over macaroni and bake for 30 minutes. Top should be golden and a little crispy.

Why is this dish considered Greek? It seems so, um, Italian?? Well, the name, of course!! Actually, I found this recipe many places throughout the web, and was pleasantly surprised at how Non-Italian it ended up tasting! Maybe it was the nutmeg in the bechamel sauce on top? Itwas great, and reheats very well. This will make 6 good sized servings – so have a little party and serve this one up toga style!! It would be great to serve with a nice Greek Salad and Baklava for dessert…but alas, I ran out of time this week!

Now, cruise on over to the MKMW blogroll and see what our other Traveling Chefs have made!!

Stay tuned for next week!

Spread the love