Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Posted by jokergirl@wererabbits
I can't wait to see Ratatouille! It's not out in here Sweden yet, sadly. But it has rats AND cooking so it's already a hit with me!
The thermos container holds homemade ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and champignon mushrooms, and the side container has grapes, wholewheat toast with cheese and a toast crust, bell pepper, nori and carrot Remy. (Dang. I forgot to add his tail! >.<;)
Boring vegetables? Not me. I took the advice about five portions a day to heart and now feel odd if I can't have vegetables with a meal!
I also enjoy the thermal container a lot. Bringing stews is no problem! Ratatouille has a reputation for retaining heat well, so it's ideal food to pack and bring on a hike or a day trip.
There are probably as many ratatouille recipes as there are cooks, but this one is my favourite. It can be stretched and varied depending on what's in the house, but is always nummy!
I am of the opinion that my secret is the Dijon mustard, but try for yourself.
1-2Tsp. Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers (I prefer yellow, or hungarian white), sliced
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 medium-sized eggplant, diced and salted
1-2 cloves of garlic, roughly diced
1 can/pack of peeled crushed tomatoes
French herbs (or at least pizza spices)
Salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, reduced tomato paste
Everything else is optional. I add mushrooms if I have them, or roast some potatoes with the onions and cook them in the broth. Or beans, or pasta... I also usually add a bit of chili to the oil to add spice. As liquid I normally just use very little water, but if you have vegetable broth or wine (red or white doesn't matter... really!) feel free to add it for even more taste.
The main principle of a good ratatouille is to judge when to add which vegetable so they are all cooked to perfection when the stew is done.
Start with the onions and garlic (and chili), and cook them in some olive oil until they are starting to become glazed. Then add the bell peppers, then the eggplant. If you have potatoes or something else slow cooking, add it now too. Cook everything in the olive oil, then add water (or wine, or broth, or...) but only so the veggies are just-quite-not covered. Add a spoonful or two of Dijon mustard, some salt and pepper and upend a bottle of french herbs in the stew. Yes, really :) I add several tablespoons now and usually a bit more when more liquid is added.
Boil on medium heat, adding more water only when absolutely necessary.
Add the mushrooms a little after adding the water, etc. etc. When the eggplant looks cooked (check that everything slow cooking is mostly cooked through now), add the crushed tomatoes and the zucchini and bring to a boil again. Taste and add more herbs, salt, pepper, sugar... now. If the sauce is too liquid, bind it with reduced tomato paste from a tube. When the sauce has boiled and reduced a little the zucchini will be perfectly cooked!
Now the stew is technically ready to serve, and if you can't stand waiting any longer, do that now. However, it will taste even better if you take it off the heat and let it stand for some 10 minutes. Also, then it won't feel like liquid napalm on your tongue... the stuff retains heat incredibly well!
Serve with fresh herbs and baguette, and a spoon of sourcream if you feel like it.
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This Post was written by jokergirl from Were Rabbits.