Wednesday, 30 August 2017
These are essentially hollowed out and stuffed zucchinis/courgettes or aubergines/eggplant
They are called 'papoutsakia', little shoes, for obvious reasons.
I prefer the zucchini cooked this way. Delicious.
Just another way to get rid of all those zucchinis which are growing like blazes in the summer sun.
First find some fat zucchinis, the fatter the better. They must be hollowed out to hold the meat and the sauce.
Cut each vegetable in half long ways. Don't hollow them out just yet. Removing the flesh is much easier when they have been boiled and are nice and soft.
Put on a pot of boiling water and when it is bubbling away carefully place each half of zucchini in the water . Boil 5-10 minutes. They will be nice and soft but not falling to pieces.
Leave to cool a little. Then you can easily scoop out the insides and make a deep trough to fill with meat.
Use the zucchini flesh in the meat sauce or throw in the compost if there are too many seeds.
While you're doing all this a pot of bolognese sauce should be boiling away in another saucepan. I cooked my sauce the night before so all I had to do was put the ingredients together.
I cooked 1/4 kilo of mince meat
some fresh grated tomatoes (or a tin or packet of tomatoes)
one chopped onion
a good slurp of wine
salt and pepper
zucchini flesh diced
Cook the mince about half an hour and leave to cool, or cook the night before.
Pour a little olive oil into each zucchini shell. Not absolutely necessary but this is greece and we love our olive oil.
Fill with the bolognese sauce mixture. Now here's the rub.... my zucchinis weren't very big so I overfilled them with the stuffing. You should leave a little room on top for the bechamel (white/cheese) sauce. I didn't as you'll see.
Sprinkle some grated cheese over the mince. Optional. I think it gives it a little more flavour
Make a small pot of thick white/cheese sauce. I used about
a table spoon of butter
and a tablespoon of oil
2 soup spoons of flour
a good teaspoon of mustard
a little nutmeg
Nutmeg is the spice of choice for any zucchini/aubergine-moussaka type of dish.
Carefully place a thin layer of sauce over each 'little shoe'. Top with more grated cheese. My sauce sort of rolled off and it became one big dish of vegetables and sauce, and darn nice it was too.
Bake about half an hour in a medium oven till golden brown on top.
This is how my shoes ended up . A sort of floppy old slipper.
This is how a chef would present them. The one nearest the camera is the stuffed zucchini and the other a stuffed aubergine.
If you are using aubergines do not boil them but cut them in half, bake about twenty minutes in a hot oven and they should be soft enough to remove the flesh easily.
Kali Orexi (bon appetite)
Don't forget the chilled white or red wine, bread to soak up the juices and lots of feta cheese.
Red wine is better chilled in the summertime. You certainly won't like 'room temperature' in our heat. I fill my wine glass with ice whether drinking red, white or rosé and enjoy the food, wine and scenery, some interesting conversation, or the latest gossip from down on the waterfront.