Greek Orzo Mess

dsc_1215RECIPE #294, DAY #491

FIVE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Moussaka in Minutes,” from Desperation Dinners by Mills and Ross*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: A broiler and a skillet that can go under it

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and broiler

HEALTH: Ehn. It’s not bad, really, but it’s also not great. You have some prefab sauce, plenty of cream, white pasta… but you also have veggies and veggies and lamb, as well as some healthful spice. This could slide by as a weeknight meal, especially with a salad.

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EXPERIENCE: This is yet another family favorite. It goes together in under 1/2 hour from only a handful of ingredients, and I think it is addictively tasty. However, one of my pet names for this dish is “Not Guest Food,” because it is a crazy, low-brow amalgamation of quality, convenience foods and ends up looking like a, well, a mess.

Go ahead, throw some parsley on it.

dsc_1212NOTES: I know it sounds like a strange combo, but follow all directions as written and you won’t be disappointed.

I also know it’s not really Greek, but it does resemble a pastitsio in some ways, and the flavor is also there.

I recommend Newman’s Alfredo Sauce.

You can remove the bitterness of the eggplant by thickly slicing, rubbing with salt, and allowing to sit in a strainer for awhile. Then rinse and dry before dicing.

***

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Cook 2 cups orzo in salted water, according to package directions.
  3. In a deep, wide skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 diced onion and cook until onion is translucent.
  4. Add 1 pound ground beef or lamb. Cook until the meat is browned.
  5. Add 1 diced eggplant, give the pan a stir, then add 8 ounce can tomato sauce and 1/4 cup ketchup. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until eggplant is soft. Stir frequently.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk 1 jar Alfredo sauce with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Drizzle sauce over the top of the stew and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  7. Place skillet under the  broiler until top is browning and a bit bubbly.
  8. Serve stew over top the orzo and seriously enjoy.

***

Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and a Greek Salad.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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