Melitzanes Papoutsakia

Sep 27th, 2007 | By | Category: Beef, Main, Vegetables


This past summer in Greece, I was looking forward to also having a cooking spree but I was too ambitious, unrealistic and outright silly to be think that I’d be in the kitchen all the time.

First, it was damn hot this summer and despite the dry heat, cooking in a kitchen with no AC is madness. Second, I live for the beach, tanning, listening to my music, long walks on the beach and of course swimming. Living in Canada, one takes advantage of the dry Mediterranean climate and the warm waters of the Aegean. To bad – so sad lil’ kitchen.

The times that I did cook inside were the odd day that it was overcast or on the two mornings that in rained.

These stuffed eggplants are translated from Greek to mean “little shoes” as that’s what the finished product looks like.

In Greek: Melitzanes (pronounced meh-leed-ZAH-nes pah-poot-SAHK-yah)

Melitzanes Papoutsakia

6-8 small to medium eggplants, halved
1lb of extra lean ground beef

4 tbsp of olive oil

2 large onions, diced

3 bay leaves

6 cloves of minced garlic

1 can of plum tomatoes, pureed
(or Pomodoro)
1/2 cup white wine

salt, pepper

1 tsp dried basil

3 tsp dried oregano

3 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 recipe for Bechamel Sauce
1 cup grated Kefalotiri cheese

  1. Wash and dry the eggplants, trim off the stems and cut in half, lengthwise. With a small spoon, scoop out the meat without breaking the skins (start at the centre with the seeds and then work carefully around. Discard the seeds and reserve the pulp. Drizzle the eggplant halves with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt. Place in a preheated 400F oven(middle rack) for 30-40 minutes or until firm. Reserve.
  2. Start making your filling. In a heavy sauce pan, saute your onions, garlic, bay leaves, some salt for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Now add your eggplant pulp and saute for another 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and and saute until browned. Add your wine, tomato sauce, oregano, parsley, dried basil and simmer until thick. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. In about 30-45 minutes you should have a thick sauce. Stir in your cinnamon and set aside.
  3. Make your Bechamel Sauce and reserve .
  4. You should have your eggplant halves in a roasting pan. Sprinkle some cheese on the bottoms, then spoon in the meat sauce into each cavity. Now spoon the bechamel sauce over the meat sauce and top with grated cheese. Bake in a pre-heated 375F oven for approx. 30 minutes. The tops should be a nice golden-brown.


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© 2007 – 2010, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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21 Comments to “Melitzanes Papoutsakia”

  1. Anonymous says:

    By the way, they look awesome !

    k

  2. Valli says:

    Another excellent Greek dish Peter. I like the addition of the bechamel on top. I remember being in a restaurant where everything seemed to have Avolgomeno lemon sauce on top. That is another possibility.

  3. Peter M says:

    Thanks K, almost as good as your mom’s? lol

    Valli, one could also top it with a slice of tomato and grated Kefalotiri.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I want to dive into that pan! You did a great job with this one….I’ll even dare and say it looks better than mom’s :-O

    K

  5. Peter M says:

    LOL @ K and TY….the cheque’s in the mail!

  6. Kevin says:

    They look pretty good. I tried making Melitzanes Papoutsakia a while ago and they were tasty.

  7. Loulou says:

    I just discovered your blog and love the recipes I’ve seen.
    This stuffed eggplant looks fantastic! Too bad I cooked the remaining eggplant from our garden last night!

  8. Sharlene says:

    Another success! Thanks for this recipe. Made it tonight with a minor change. Instead of bechamel sauce, I just topped it with feta cheese, as this is how my bf typically has it. Can’t wait for your recipes from Greek Easter! :) Now I need to go and find what I will be making tomorrow night.

  9. I came here to see your recipe for this dish specifically. I must say it looks like shit. Probably tastes like it too. Give it up.

  10. maria v says:

    you must have eaten a lot of shit to know what shit tastes like, sam (never mind your manners)

  11. Spiridoula says:

    This looks FREAKIN delicious Peter! I’m salivating. Good job…keep it up!

  12. Nate says:

    I must say it looks delicious. Probably tastes delicious too. Keep it up!

  13. Dragon says:

    Peter, another winner. It look’s perfect!

    Sam, I’ve checked out the some of the ‘food’ you have on your site. You can’t hold a candle to Peter’s food and blog, so your only weapon is nastiness. You are a small, small man. Go away.

  14. Athena says:

    I rarely comment, so I rarely read the comments. I saw this pointed out on twitter, and I was compelled to come here today and ask, why? would a grown man “shit” (get it?) out such a ridiculous statement. if you don’t like peter’s food (or apparently Peter himself), STOP READING HIS BLOG! I read Sam’s blog, too, and did not know that this was going on. I’m still perplexed.

    The papoutsakia look great, and I’m sure they taste great, too!

  15. Peter,
    I think you know what you can do with trolls like that.

    Sam,
    I think you’re just jealous that Peter’s blog has a higher ranking. Peter is the go-to source for me when I’m looking for information on Greek food and culture. That’s probably the case for a lot of people as well. Not only is Peter knowledgeable, he’s gracious and respectful of others. I don’t know what you think it serves to insult others because it only makes you look worse.

  16. Hey Peter! I like how you’ve turned making papoutsakia into an assembly line so you can make more, faster. Great idea. And the finished product looks mouth-wateringly delicious.

    As for those commenting on Sam, in his desperation for attention, Sam is notoriously antagonistic and bullying towards other bloggers. This isn’t the first example, and won’t be the last. Peter knows this and learned to ignore him a long time ago. Everyone else should do the same.

  17. Um… after seeing the facebook comment I had to wander over. Is he nuts? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you make anything that didn’t make my mouth water immediately.

    Blah… btw… these look to die for IMHO.

  18. Christine says:

    Too bad eggplant is no longer being offered in our little corner of the world, Peter. My husband would have loved this! Saving it for next summer. Thanks!

  19. Paul says:

    Peter — great recipe and great blog. I had never heard of this recipe until I started to date a woman from northern Greece some years back. It seems it’s not done in the south. Do you know if that’s true or is it my ignorance?

    Also, GREAT pictures on your blog. Are you still using the Canon that I suggested you buy way back?

    To the troll: how freaking old are you? Don’t you realize that you’re embarrassing yourself?

  20. Sia says:

    hi Peter
    I love cooking this dish but some years ago discovered a vegetarian version with kaseri or kefalotiri which was also wonderful – do you have anything similar? love your recipes and travelogue
    x from Australia

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