Looking for new posts?


I've been blogging over at Closing the Gap these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!


Ratatouille

Not only is Ratatouille one of my favorite movies, but it is now one of my favorite veggie dishes.



So a few Daring Bakers were chatting in the secret forum about savory baking challenges and it escalated into an idea for someone to begin a group that was similar to Daring Bakers, only for cooking. So two Daring Bakers, Temperance of High on the Hog, and Lori of Lipsmacking Goodness got on the ball and did an amazing job at putting together Recipes to Rival, the newest (since last month) cooking group that picks a challenge every month and plays with their food all the time! Well, at least I play with my food.

So, as a debut cooking challenge Temperance and Lori picked something I'd always wanted to make, Ratatouille. I loved it, AJ loved it, my sister loved it (and she hates tomatoes), and I'm sure that if I had a dog, it'd love it too. We ate it as a main dish for left-over night. It was perfect for a summer dinner alongside some rice.

When we have meals without meat, AJ calls it "elf food". I'm not quite sure which type of elf he means, I always thought elves ate Christmas cookies and milk (those that are lucky to be employed by the guy with a red wool suit) and of course sugar, thanks to the Christmas movie that delves into elf culture. :) Anyway, apparently AJ thinks elves are vegetarians. Maybe because it's impossible for them to catch any type of animal to eat, they're all so much bigger and very threatening.

Here's the recipe with my alterations, which were minuscule.
This is a recipe that is so full of flavor, I will surely be making this again although not as pretty. I had a lot of veggies left over (the squash, eggplant and zucchini). Also if you do try this recipe be sure to make it in advance and time your preparations, letting it cook in the oven for those whole two hours let's all those yummy flavors intensify. Believe me, it's worth the wait.

Ratatouille
from the Disney Movie, Rataouille

Definition:
A popular dish from the French region of Provence that combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs --all simmered in olive oil. The vegetables can vary according to the cook. They can be cooked together, or cooked separately and then combined and heated briefly together. Ratatouille can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, either as a side dish or as an appetizer with bread or crackers.

-- Epicurious.com

Confit Byaldi
from NY TIMES

FOR PIPERADE
1/2 red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 yellow pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 orange pepper, seeds and ribs removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
3 tomatoes (about 12 ounces total weight), peeled, seeded, and finely diced, juices reserved
1 sprig thyme, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 a bay leaf
Kosher salt

FOR VEGETABLES
1 zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch rounds
1 Japanese eggplant, (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8teaspoon thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR VINAIGRETTE
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Assorted fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

1. For piperade, heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.

2. Combine oil, garlic, and onion in medium skillet over low heat until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes, do not brown; add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt, and discard herbs. Reserve tablespoon of mixture and spread remainder in bottom of an 8-inch skillet.

3. For vegetables, heat oven to 275 degrees. Down center of pan, arrange a strip of 8 alternating slices of vegetables over piperade, overlapping so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Around the center strip, overlap vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center. Repeat until pan is filled; all vegetables may not be needed.

4. Mix garlic, oil, and thyme leaves in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables. Cover pan with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.) If there is excess liquid in pan, place over medium heat on stove until reduced. (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve cold or reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.)


About to go in the oven.

5. For vinaigrette, combine reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

6. To serve, heat broiler and place byaldi underneath until lightly browned. Slice in quarters and very carefully lift onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding byaldi into fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings


bon appétit! C'est un plat délicieux, je l'adore!

Soundtrack: AJ, Bug and I were watching Spirited Away. I've been watching quite a few Miyazaki movies lately. They're fantastic; which one is your favorite?


Be sure to check out the other little chefs that made this delicious dish!
Here's the link to the original recipe (that's not far different from my own) and look! They used my photo! I was sore proud.


15 Comments

  1. Your photo is gorgeous... you should submit it to tastespotting! (And foodgawker...)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was a fun way to start out this new group! Your photos are beautiful and you have done Remy proud!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing photo. I could just dig into that ratatouille! Love your post as well. DEfinitely sumit thsi to Tastespotting or Food Gawker. Tastespotting is up and running again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so used to see ratatouille as a simple mish mash of different squashes and zuchinnis, I had to come and comment on how yours looks absolutely dainty, precious and lovely, almost jewel like... just like the one in the movie!
    Ratatouillesque! ...really!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great job! I agree, letting it cook for the 2 full hours makes the flavors so amazing. Awesome photo as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We thought it was incredible as well. Your photos are gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. beautiful job!! you really did well with the veggies being the same diameter. Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great way of serving this & great photo too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow! It look fabulous! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow... now THAT is a restaurant-worthy ratatouille! I'd become a vegetarian elf for a bite of that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very beautiful photos. I love Ratatouille!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love Miyazaki movies, too, especially Princess Mononoke! And I loved Ratatouille. I get happy whenever I eat it and whenever I see that someone's made a version like Remy's!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cool! My favorite Miyazaki movie is far and away, Tonari no Totoro, AKA, my neighbor Totoro (but I haven't seen the English language version.)

    I thought you might enjoy seeing my ratatouille version that I made when the movie first came out:
    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/vegan-and-gluten-free-ratatouille-recipe-586.html

    And also, love the idea of the savory bakers. Is there a link for that or did i miss it?

    -Sea

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks so much for checking out my blog! Your Ratatouille looks so good...beautiful and yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That looks beautiful! I am going to try my hand at ratatoille ASAP.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete