Papoutsakia means little shoes in Greek and they are named after their shape that looks like children ballerina shoes. They are absolutely delicious and easy to make. You can find everything you need at the local market.
Preparation time: 30 minutes Baking time: 1 hour Serves: 5 – 6
5 eggplants, halved 300 grams ground meat (half & half) 1 large onion finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley (if we want) 1 can of whole tomatoes blended Salt & black pepper 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
For the Béchamel Sauce
1.5 l of milk 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup flour 3 big or 4 small eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup of grated graviera or kefalotyri cheese
Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they soften. Then add the ground meat.
Add the tomato, parsley, salt & pepper to the mix, and and cook them all together for approximately 20 minutes
Until filling is ready, prepare the béchamel sauce.
Wash and half the eggplants lengthwise and with a knife to carve the eggplant and scoop the flesh with a spoon to create a cavity.
Put with some cheese and add 2 or 3 big spoons of filling and cover it with béchamel sauce. Don't forget to put some more cheese on top.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade and bake for about one hour, until the béchamel sauce has a nice golden colour.
Preparing the béchamel sauce
In the beginning, heat the milk and beat the eggs.
In a pan heat the olive oil and add the flour and salt and mix them all together using a whisk, until it starts to brown.
Add the warm milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Whisk the eggs and add a little at a time slowly and mixing until it is incorporated.
After removing it from the heat, mix it with grated cheese.
And you are ready! Enjoy!