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Monday, 7 July 2008

Aubergine shoes - papoutsakia (Παπουτσάκια)

These days, I need look no further than the garden for my inspiration as to what to cook. Today's glance into our vegetable patch concluded in a papoutsakia marathon...


papoutsakia eggplant aubergine

...now that the courgettes' reign is almost over; they came, they conquered and now they're leaving. The aubergines have now invaded. May their reign be short-lived; I'm fast running out of jigsaw puzzle space in the deep freeze, as there is almost no more room at the inn.

eggplant aubergine

Long and thin ones, short and fat ones, take your pick. The short fat round variety gets used for imam baldi, moussaka, and aubergine dip. The long thin ones can also be used in the same way, but, oh the elegance of the sleek and slender long thin eggplant, turned into little shoes (papoutsakia) - fried eggplant shells stuffed with mince and topped with bechamel and cheese. They come in a wide variety of styles:

ballet slippers...
eggplant aubergine ballet slipper

comfortable loafers...
eggplant aubergine loafer

high heeled stilettos...
eggplant aubergine stiletto

evzones' tsarouhia...
eggplant aubergine tsarouhia

strapless mules...
eggplant aubergine peep-toe mules

and worn-out sneakers.
eggplant aubergine worn-out sneakers

A very much healthier alternative to frying the shells is to bake the aubergines in the oven as for melitzanosalata. When they are done, slice off one side, and scoop out the flesh (and make melitzanosalata, thereby eliminating waste). Use the empty shells to make papoutsakia, by filling them with mince sauce topped with bechamel sauce and grated cheese (or just cheese if bechamel sauce is too much fuss and/or too fatty to make).

eggplant shells aubergine

(Click here for the recipe for
papoutsakia.)


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