Papoutsakia — «little eggplant shoes»

Papoutsakia — «little eggplant shoes»

This dish is called «papoutsaki melidzanes» or «stuffed shoes». The combination of meat, delicate bechamel sauce and baked eggplant makes it delicious.

According to the recipe of my Greek friend Magda.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 kg. of eggplant, halved lengthwise

2 grated onions

Soft margarine ( Vitam)

500 gr. of mincemeat

1/2 cup of red wine

Cinnamon

Grated cheese (a mixture of 4 types grated semi-hard cheeses — Gouda, Edam, Tsentar, Emmental)

Salt, pepper

For the Bechamel sauce:

50 gr. butter

50 gr. wheat flour

500 ml. milk

Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

Directions:

1. Using a sharp knife, criss-cross and score the flesh side of each eggplant half, careful not to draw the knife completely down to the skin or to puncture the skin in any way.

Melt the margarine into a frying pan.

Lay the eggplant halves into the hot margarine, skin sides facing up, and fry until golden brown, about 10 min.

Flip the eggplant halves and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

Scoop out the flesh from the eggplant with a spoon.

Transfer those empty eggplant shells to a bakin tray.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. margarine in a medium sized pot on medium heat.

Add grated onion.

Fry the onion slowly and when it is soft add minced meat.

Fry minced meat slowly for 5 min. stirring constantly.

Pour in the red wine and allow it to evaporate.

Add  salt, pepper, little cinnamon, some water and simmer for about 30 min.

3. Melt butter in a stewpan, stir in flour and cook gently for 2 — 3 minutes. Pour in all milk at once and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens like sour cream.

Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Cool slightly before stirring in 1/2 — 1 cup of cheese.

4. Fill up the eggplant with  mincemeat stuffing, cover with bechamel sauce and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Bake egglants for 30-40 min.

Bon Appetit!

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