Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moussaka Pizza - My Big Fat Greek Meatza Pizza

It was a hot and humid day here today. While driving home from work, thoughts of what to fix for dinner were running through my head. I knew that I had a bag of baby eggplants in the fridge that I picked up this weekend at Costco. I also had several packages of their organic ground beef. Initially, my Mini Stuffed Moussaka Boats came to mind. But, I was sort of in the mood for pizza, too. As the debate between moussaka and pizza went back and forth in my I pulled into the driveway, I had the answer...BOTH! Yup...I would find a way to have moussaka AND pizza! LOL

I began my concoction (recipe) by thinly slicing a couple of the baby eggplants and lightly salting them on both sides and placing them between paper towels to wick out some of the moisture. After all, I didn't want soggy pizza. I let them sit for about 10 minutes or so, then lightly sprayed them with olive oil and grilled them for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

I browned about one pound of ground beef and about 1/2 cup of finely diced onion in a little olive oil. I seasoned it liberally with sea salt and pepper and then added about 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, couple dashes of allspice and a couple tablespoons of torn fresh flat leaf parsley to give the meat mixture a "moussaka-like" flavor. Moussaka usually has some tomato added to the meat mixture but not enough to make a tomato sauce. It's simply there for flavor, not sauce. I decided to use organic oven roasted Roma tomatoes in oil that I buy at Costco. They are loaded with deep tomato flavor and they wouldn't make the meat saucy and wet. I added a few heaping tablespoons of them to the meat mixture. 

For the crust, I made a double batch of my Grain-Free Pizza Crust and spread it in a rectangular shape on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

I popped it in the oven to bake. While the pizza crust was baking, I mixed together my "grain-free bechamel sauce" that I use when I make my traditional moussaka. I made a half batch of the sauce.

To assemble my Moussaka Pizza, I topped the baked crust with about 8 to 10 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese; then added the seasoned meat and tomato mixture; then topped it with the sliced grilled eggplant; and ended with teaspoon-sized dollops of my bechamel sauce (ricotta, Parmesan, egg, and dash of nutmeg). 

Before baking
I baked it until the bechamel sauce was light golden and cooked. I topped the cooked pizza with a few more chunks of the oven roasted tomatoes in oil and some freshly torn flat leaf parsley, along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

It was absolutely delicious! It tasted just like moussaka but on a crisp pizza crust that you could pick up and eat with you hands. 

If you'd like to create this unique pizza, here is the recipe for my stuffed moussaka boats where you can get the recipe for the bechamel sauce (that I halved the recipe for on this pizza) as well as get an idea of the seasonings used in the meat filling: Mini Stuffed Moussaka Boats. My recipe for the pizza crust (that I doubled the recipe for on this pizza) is here: Grain-Free Pizza Crust. I snapped a few photos below. Enjoy!


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