Lou and Susan Petrakos have been contributing to the Greek Festival since 1973. Photo by D’Ann Dreiling

The DISH

Greek couple share festival dish recipe        

By D’Ann Dreiling 

 OPA!  Let the festivities begin!

     The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 120th and Wornall, is presenting the 58th Annual Greek Festival on September 6th, 7th and 8th, rain or shine.  It’s a “don’t miss” event. Gaiety, frivolity, and sumptuous Greek food, prepared by the experts, is served with great hospitality and Aldi speed.

The Petrakos recommend this cookbook which can be purchased at the Greek Festival.

     We know the Greeks’ contribution to civilization is endless. Literature, architecture, science, philosophy, and the yo-yo to name a few, but history books fail to regale the Greeks for their incredible cuisine.  At the festival you will find the opportunity to try the best of the best. Flaming Saganaki, Greek Lemon Chicken, Pastitsio, Gyro, Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) to name a few of the specialties, and hot dogs on a bun for the less adventurous.  For dessert, the ever famous Baklava as well as 14 other Greek sweets will blast your diet to bits and you’ll have no regrets. Beer, wine, music, dancing and games for the kids make this event fun for everyone. In the shopping section you will have the opportunity to purchase the best Greek cookbook since Socrates. Parking will be available at Avila University with shuttles to take you across the street, as well as the grassy field behind the church.

     Lou Petrakos and his wife Susan have been part of this celebration since 1973 when it was held at Crown Center.  “Preparation begins the week after Easter,” says Lou, “and it isn’t over ‘til it’s over.” Lou grew up cooking alongside his parents and grandparents, all from Greece, and became quite a cook himself.  His favorite authentic Greek dish is his family recipe for Pastitsio. After you finish eating this meal, you’ll be ready to dance the Sirtaki, and with a few shots of Ouzo, you might look pretty good.

Here’s the dish…

Lou’s Pastitsio

Meat sauce

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley 
  • 2 T. Butter or oil 

Bachamel sauce

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 6 cups warm milk
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 20 oz. medium macaroni 
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese for layering 

Preheat oven to 375*

Spray 10 x 15 inch pan (lasagne pan)

Brown beef and chopped onion in skillet with oil or butter.

Add salt, pepper, tomato sauce and parsley.  Set aside.

In large sauce pan, melt  2 sticks butter and whisk in flour stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Gradually add warm milk and continue stirring until mixture thickens.  Cool.  

Beat eggs with 1 cup cheese and add to cooled Bachamel sauce.

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, do not rinse. Add 1 stick butter.

Assemble Pastitsio:

Layer 1/2 macaroni in pan, sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, cover with all of ground beef mixture, add remaining macaroni, and sprinkle remaining cheese.  Slowly cover all with Bachamel sauce. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until Bachamel sauce is cooked in center. Serves 12

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