And I Can Cook, Too

Monday, August 13, 2007

July 30, 2007

It’s All Greek To Me

In addition to salmon, Megan had zucchini, onion, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and a bag of frozen meatballs. I noticed that she also had flour and butter on hand, and I developed a plan. “Whatcha making?” Megan asked as I sautéed the vegetables and deglazed the pan with a little balsamic vinegar. “Moussaka.” I told her. “Where’s the eggplant?” she asked. “Well, it’s not exactly moussaka, it’s more like a mock-saka.” At dinnertime we didn’t care what it was called. We just ate it.

Mocksaka

1-1/2 lbs. Frozen Meatballs
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Zucchini, medium diced
1 Sweet Onion, medium diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Medium Diced
1 12-oz can Diced Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
¼ C Balsamic Vinegar
½ stick Butter
1/2 C. Flour
2 C. Milk
Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

Brush the bottom of a large baking dish with olive oil. Line the bottom of the dish with the meatballs. In a large pan, sauté the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper in the remaining olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more. Add the tomato paste and the tomatoes, including the tomato liquid. Allow to simmer until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Allow to simmer until the vinegar is almost completely reduced. Pour the mixture over the meatballs.

In a separate pot, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk to form a paste, and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisking, add the milk a little at a time. Allow to come to a rapid simmer (do not boil!) to thicken. Taste, and add nutmeg, salt and pepper as desired. Layer on the top to the meatballs and vegetables. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes, until meatballs are heated through.

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