Papoutsakia (baked eggplant "little shoes"

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 mediums Eggplant; (about 1 pound ea.
;washed but not peeled
10 tablespoons Olive oil
½ cup Onion; finely chopped
½ pounds Lamb, lean ground
1 cup Tomato puree; canned
2 tablespoons Parsley; finely chopped
;prefer flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon Garlic; finely chopped
Black pepper; freshly ground
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Kefalotiri; freshly grated
;or use Parmesan cheese
.
SALTSA BESAMEL (CREAM SAUCE)
1 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Butter
2 Egg
2 tablespoons Flour
¼ teaspoon Salt

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. With a spoon, hollow out the center of each half to make a boat like shell about ¼ inch thick.

finely chop the eggplant pulp and set it aside.

In a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add two eggplant shells, cut side up, and, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent them from sticking, cook over low heat for 5 minutes. turn the shells over and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until they are somewhat soft to the touch. Transfer them hollow side down to paper towels to drain, and cook the remaining 2 shells in a similar fashion, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Then arrange the 4 shells cut side up in a baking dish large enough to hold them snugly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). To prepare the filling, pour 3 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and heat over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the onions, and, stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly colored. Stir in the lamb and, mashing it with the back of the spoon to break up any lumps, cook until all traces of pink disappear. Add the chopped eggplant pulp, tomato puree, parsley, garlic, salt and a few grindings of pepper, and raise the heat.

Stirring almost constantly cook briskly until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick enough to hold ts shape almost solidly in the spoon. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon the filling into the eggplant shells, dividing it equally among them and mounding it slightly in the center. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the shells are tender and the filling lightly browned.

CREAM SAUCE:

Meanwhile, prepare the saltsa besamel. In a small pan, heat ¾ cup of milk and the butter until bubbles appear around the rim of the pan. Remove from the heat. In a heavy 2 to 3 quart saucepan, beat the eggs, the remaining ¼ cup of milk, the flour and ¼ teaspoon o salt with a whisk or rotary beater until smooth. Place the saucepan over moderate heat and, stirring constantly with a whisk, slowly pour in the milk and melted butter in a thin continuous stream. Still stirring, cook until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens heavily.

Taste for seasoning.

To serve, arrange the baked eggplant on a large heated platter or individual serving plates and spoon the sauce over the top.

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Time Life Series: Middle Eastern Cooking, "circa 69" MMed by: earl.cravens@...

Submitted By EARL CRAVENS On 02-25-95

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