Traditional Greek Recipes: Melitzanes Papoutsakia

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Melitzanes Papoutsakia (stuffed eggplants) is a traditional Greek dish, similar to Moussaka but not as well known.

The term Papoutsakia translates to “Little Shoes” in Greek, as the dish resembles the shape of
little shoes.

Papoutsakia is a simple meal to cook up, and we’re going to show you how to make it for your family.

How to make Papoutsakia (serves 4)

For the eggplants:

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

For the beef mixture:

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g ground mince beef
  • 400g tinned tomatoes

For the bechamel:

  • 20g butter
  • 1bsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 120g grated cheese
Photo: Urban Zesty

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Slice eggplants vertically in half and carefully scoop insides of the eggplant out (set
    aside for later)
  3. Add salt and pepper to the eggplants
  4. Heat two tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry both sides of the eggplant until it wilts
    and is slightly brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel and place on the prepared
    baking tray.
  5. In the same frying pan, add finely chopped onion and garlic in a pan and stir frequently
    until caramelized.
  6. Add the ground meat and eggplant flesh. Continue stirring until the meat browns. Add
    the tin tomatoes, salt and pepper and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, begin making the bechamel sauce by heating a large pot over medium
    heat. Melt the butter until it froths then start adding the flour and continuously stir for 2
    minutes
  8. Slowly pour in milk, whisking continuously until the mixture has thickened.
  9. When the sauce has thickened, add the egg yolk, cheese and nutmeg. Whisk until a
    smooth consistency is formed
  10. Remove eggplants from the oven and carefully fill the insides with the meat mixture. Top
    with the bechamel sauce and extra cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden
    and enjoy!

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