Greek stuffed eggplant or aubergine

Greek stuffed eggplant

If you’ve got lots of fresh garden vegetables this is great dish, healthy and low-carb too. Yesterday in My Sunday Photo post there was a rather large box of vegetables and I needed to cook them.

Stuffed Eggplant, Melitzanes papoutsakia (Μελιτζάνες παπουτσάκια) is translated to mean ‘little shoes’ as the eggplant boats look a little like little shoes. It’s a traditional dish that I’ve been meaning to cook for a while.

While waiting for the referendum results go ideas from several on-line recipes making use of what I had and devised my own low carb béchamel style topping, though you could just put grated cheese on top:

Greek Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 250g mixed beef and pork mince
  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 1 medium sized zucchini chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium size onion chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • a good pitch of allspice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup mild cheese grated
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley chopped
  • Sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Low carb béchamel topping

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 125g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup mild cheese grated
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

To prepare the eggplants; Slice them in half, Scoop out the flesh, roughly chop and place to one side. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.  Coat the inside of the eggplant boats with oil, place gently in the pan bottom side down and fry for a couple of minutes. Place to one side on a baking tray lined with foil.

Now make the filling:

Add a little more oil to the pan, sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, chopped up eggplant, cubed zucchini and minced meat. Cook for a for about 10-15 minutes until the meat is browned and the vegetables softening.

Now add the half cup of wine and simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes, ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick and parsley, simmer until the tomatoes are cooked through and the juices reduced.

Remove the cinnamon stick, stir through the grated cheese and place to one side to cool.

the eggplant filling for Greek stuffed eggplants

the filling

 Low carb béchamel topping

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 125g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup mild cheese grated
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method for the low carb béchamel:

In a small frying pan melt the butter on a medium heat, remove from the heat and beat in the cream cheese, followed by the egg yolk. It will immediately start to thicken.

Return to the heat, continue to beat and add the cream. Stir in the grated cheese, nutmeg and season to taste.

low carb bechamel sauce

the sauce thickens quickly

Assemble the dish

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Spoon the meat and vegetable filling into the eggplant boats until really full up. Then spoon the béchamel on top, sprinkle with a little cheese and smoked paprika.

filled greek stuffed eggplant ready to go in the oven

ready to go in the oven

Place in the centre of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

golden brown cooked greek stuffed eggplants

golden brown ready to eat

For this recipe you could really use what ever vegetables you have. This would make a great supper served with a salad, we enjoyed it so much we had 2 boats each.

Traditionally these would be made with ground lamb or beef, you could even leave out the meat and add a little extra zucchini and some mushrooms to easily make them vegetarian.

The referendum is over and I think a sense of fairness has crept back into politics this morning. There’s uncertainty about what it all means and what will happen next.

It’s going to be an interesting ride, but I’ll keep on blogging and learning new Greek recipes.

Cooking during the summer months is a challenge. The temperature at the moment during the day is around 35c in the kitchen, that’s before I’ve turned the oven on. It’s a matter of preparing things earlier when it’s slightly cooler and cooking most things outside on the BBQ. One day I’d love to have an outdoor Greek kitchen in a shady spot complete with sink.

If you know of any great recipes you think I should try let me know?

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