Traditional Greek recipes: Papoutsakia

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Niki Louca from My Greek Kitchen shares her favourite recipe for Papoutsakia (little shoes) with The Greek Herald. This recipe serves 6 as an entrée. You can follow her on Instagram @mygreekkitchen for more!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggplants
  • 1kg mince meat
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt/pepper
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • 50gm tomato paste
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
  • 30gm butter

Method:

  1. Pre – heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Wash and cut eggplants in half – lengthwise.  Do not peel skin off.
  3. Drizzle with some olive oil and a little salt.
  4. Bake in the oven till golden brown and flesh is soft.
Baking the eggplants until soft.

5. Whilst the eggplants are cooking in the oven, prepare your mince sauce.

6. Saute your finely chopped onion till translucent.   Add your mincemeat and with a wooden spoon stir breaking down the mince.  When nearly cooked  add your cinnamon,  salt, pepper and oregano and make sure there are no lumps in the mince.  Continue to cook for a further 5 or so minutes.

7. Once mince is cooked add your tomato paste and stir well. Turn heat off.

8. In a clean saucepan make béchamel sauce. Melt butter and add your cornflour to make a roux. 

9. Add your milk to your roux and keep whisking to break any lumps.

10. Add your lightly beaten egg to the milk mixture before the milk gets hot – if the milk is too hot it will curdle the egg.  Add a pinch of salt.

11. Keep whisking – do not walk away. It will not take long for the sauce to start to thicken. Once it does turn it off.

To Ensemble:

  1. With a fork, gently squash some of the flesh of each half of the cooked eggplant to make space for the mince sauce.
  2. Divide the mince mixture amongst the eggplant and then spoon over each one some of the béchamel sauce.
Adding the mixture to the eggplants.

3. Put back in the oven till the béchamel sauce is golden brown.

4. Serve each half as an entrée or side.

If you want to serve this as a main allow 1 eggplant per person (2 halves), and serve with a salad.

The final result.

Niki Louca runs cooking classes in Melbourne. For more or to book classes visit My Greek Kitchen at www.mygreekkitchen.com.au or Instagram @mygreekkitchen. You can email Niki at: niki@mygreekkitchen.com.au.

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