Last week I enjoyed my meals with a nice touch of both summer and fall. But this week, I've been truly inspired. Ever since my love affair with baklava as a child, I've been lurvin' Greek food. And since last weekend's Greek Festival has gotten me all excited, I've added some Mediterranean flair to my menu with Moussaka and Sloppy Giorgios. (Sigh) If only baklava could count as a dinner, my weekly menu plan would be a whole lot easier.
Here's What I'm Making:
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Pantry Items Cooking oil (I prefer regular olive oil) Cooking spray Extra virgin olive oil Balsamic vinegar Red wine vingegar Chicken stock Eggs Milk Butter Sour Cream Mayonnaise Whole-grain dijon mustard Parmesan cheese Breadcrumbs Flour Honey Kosher salt Pepper Crushed red pepper Dried Oregano Bay leaves Cinnamon Ground cloves
Grocery List - amts. based on servings for 2 1 lb ground beef (for Moussaka and Sloppy Giorgios, can use lamb if desired) 2 lbs bone in skin on chicken thighs 1 large head cauliflower 1 large eggplant 1 medium zucchini 1 medium squash 1 head romaine lettuce 1 bunch fresh parsley 2 plum tomatoes 1 head garlic 2 medium yellow onions 1 medium red onion 1 shallot 1 large or 2 small potatoes 1 lemon 1/2 cup shredded gruyére Golden raisins 2 sandwich buns 1 bag Israeli couscous 1 can crushed tomatoes
Day 1 - Cauliflower Couscous w/ Roasted Vegetables *Makes leftover eggplant to be used in Moussaka and leftover couscous for a side dish to Mustard Chicken Thighs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Thinly slice eggplant, zucchini and squash (1/4 in). Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in one layer on baking sheet and bake until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 30 minutes, flipping once throughout. *Set aside half the cooked eggplant for use in day 2.
Meanwhile, Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Add 1 cup cauliflower florets and 1 shallot minced, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon. Remove from pan and set aside.
In same pan, sauté 1 ½ cups Israeli couscous in olive oil until couscous is lightly browned. Add 3 cups chicken broth and ½ cup golden raisins. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer, cooking for 10-12 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
Toss couscous with cauliflower and add chopped parsley, a splash of red wine vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. *Set aside enough couscous for a side dish in day 3.
Serve cauliflower couscous topped with oven roasted vegetables.
Day 2 - Ground Beef Moussaka *Uses leftover eggplant from day 1 *Makes leftover ground beef for Sloppy Giorgos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add 1 lb ground meat and 1 medium onion chopped. Cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Add 6 cloves garlic, minced. Cook 1 additional minute before adding ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp oregano, 1 bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined and add 1 can crushed tomatoes. Bring to a bubble then reduce to simmer and cook until flavors combine, about 10 minutes.*Reserve ½ mixture for use in Day 3
Meanwhile, boil 1 large or two small potatoes, peeled, until they are just done (enough so that they no longer crunch). Drain, cool, and slice potatoes into ¼ inch slices.
Make a custard by combining melting 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan and mixing in 2-3 tbsp flour. Stir until combined and off the heat, slowly whisk in 1 cup milk. Let cool for 5 minutes before whisking in 1 egg. Sprinkle in parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Coat small baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle in breadcrumbs. Layer ½ leftover eggplant, potatoes, meat mixture, then other ½ of eggplant. Cover with custard mixture (may not need all of it) and sprinkle w/ grated parmesan.
Bake until custard sets and begins to brown, about 40 minutes.
Slice and serve w/ chopped lettuce and tomato dressed simply with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Day 3 - Mustard Chicken Thighs w/ Couscous *Makes leftover chicken for use in Chicken & Cauliflower Gratin
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down and cook until browned both on sides, about 10-12 minutes. Add ¼ cup minced onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in 4-5 cloves garlic, minced, and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1 ½ cups chicken broth and chopped fresh parsley. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp whole-grain mustard with 3 tablespoons sour cream. When chicken is cooked, remove from skillet, cover and set side. Whisk mustard mixture and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet to coat.*Reserve ½ chicken for use in Day 5
Serve chicken with a squeeze of fresh lemon and leftover Israeli couscous.
Day 4 -Sloppy Giorgos *Uses leftover meat from Moussaka
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add leftover ground meat mixture from Day 2. Mix in ½ tsp honey, and ¼ cup golden raisins (plumped in hot water and drained).
Serve Sloppy Giorgos on lightly toasted sandwich buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, and sliced red onion. Serve with side salad.
Day 5 - Chicken & Cauliflower Gratin *Uses leftover chicken from Mustard Chicken Thighs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove skins from leftover chicken and shred chicken meat.
Cook remaining cauliflower florets in large pot of boiling water until tender but firm, about 5 minutes.
Heat large skillet over medium heat and coat with butter. Add ¼ cup breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, and crushed red pepper. Mix until breadcrumbs are toasted. Toss w/ ¼ cup shredded gruyére.
Meahwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter and add 1½ tbsp flour, stirring until combined. Slowly whisk in 1 cup milk and bring to a boil. Boil whisking constantly until thickened, about 1 minute, then remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Mix in ¼ cup shredded gruyere and a ¼ cup grated parmesan.
Pour 1/3 béchamel mixture into a baking dish with cooking spray. Add drained cauliflower and shredded chicken and pour the rest of the béchamel evenly on top. Top with breadcrumb and gruyére mixture and thin slices of tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 25-30 minutes until top is crisped and browned.
Serve hot and enjoy!