Elio graduated in February 2018 from the Le Monde Cookery School in Athens, having undertaken their 2 year Chef de Cuisine course. Le Monde has an international reputation for the training of young chefs.
Elio prepared a typical Greek dish called Melitzanes Papoutsakia, which is Greek for ‘little shoes’ - based on the appearance of the finished dish of stuffed aubergines with minced meat and béchamel sauce.
Feeling inspired by their trip, we have our own version of the recipe to share with you.
- 2 medium sized aubergines
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g beef mince
- 200g tinned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
For the béchamel sauce
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml milk
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 120g kefalotyri or kasseri (or parmesan) cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line a medium baking dish with baking paper.
2. Halve the aubergines length-ways and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1 cm border. Dice the flesh finely and reserve.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the aubergine halves, skin side down, until wilted and slightly brown. Turnover and fry on the other side until brown, for approximately 10 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Place cut side up in the prepared baking dish.
4. Using the same frying pan add the remaining oil. Fry the onions and garlic on a low heat, stirring frequently. When soft, add the beef and aubergine flesh, stirring frequently to brown well. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix well then simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the milk, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the nutmeg, egg yolk and cheese. Whisk until smooth.
6. Spoon the meat mixture equally between aubergine halves, pressing in firmly. Pour over the béchamel sauce and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through and the tops are golden.