Thursday, November 29, 2007


"Food always comes to those who love to cook." ~ Chef Gusteau

A few years ago I made my first ratatouille after my best friend's mentioning of the dish. I wasn't sure where to find a good recipe because there were so many, so I took a chance and was really fortunate to find a delicious one that was simple yet tasty. The recipe came from a lesser known recipe database online. It is the recipe I still use to this day. I usually serve it over some white rice. It is a dish I make for myself on winter nights. It freezes well, so its also good for those evenings after a busy work day when you want to savor some hearty vegetables and unwind.

I had been wanting to see the film Ratatouille since it opened in theatres, and thankfully the other night I finally watched it. I made a Mexican dinner of soft beef tacos with Spanish rice and some red wine and then sat down on my couch, placed a blanket over myself, and laughed for two hours. Oh I loved it, and immediately I needed to track down the recipe that inspired the monumental moment in the film. I found the recipe created by Thomas Keller, but not sure if I want to recreate it. I like my recipe so much.

The character in the film I adored the most was Chef Gusteau. The fact that he died after losing a Michelin star made me adore his passion for food and perfection. He was a great teacher to Remi, and of course I do believe the motto that anyone can cook. As Keller said, anyone can cook if they have a passion for it. Gusteau is the kind of character that makes any epicurean smile.

This is my recipe I use for ratatouille:


INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small eggplant, cubed
2 green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
3 to 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


PREPARATION:

In a 4-quart Dutch oven or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.Serves 4.

7 comments:

moi said...

Awesome, I'm going to try it! That pink lemonade pie, too.

What lovely blogs you have. I appreciate you dropping in on mine!

she said...

lady jane, i didnt see ratatooey but i like it!

but, but, off topic here...what wisdom can you offer regarding the cookie party i will attend this coming friday? as you might imagine, in years past i have had the most beautifully decorated cookies *humility watch grreherherhaha* but have never won the big prize. i was pulled aside and told in confidence that "gingerbread never wins"....oh but it cuts a shape so well.

i made french poodles last year meticulously piping on dots for the fur and black eyes and noses. this year i bought a scottie dog cutter and want to make black and whites. but what dough?

i tried a chocolate one and it didnt hold the shape well.

what do you think? you helped me in the poetry duel...can i count on you again?

( i should go to moi's food blog too. i want to win. but you knew that about me already ;-))

she said...

ever the gracious lady. so! i will try the recipes tonight!! i like the idea of adding ground pecans...how would the coconut be used? i hate shreds but i love the flavor. maybe an flavoring? im going to the cooks warehouse today. yeee hawww!! thanks lady jane.

*i bet you dont miss the classroom *

she said...

okay. i bought some chocolate brown food coloring and made sugar cookie dough to roll tomorrow. i couldnt use that b n b recipe cause i need to use cookie cutters. i will make royal icing....i want to make a chocolate version too - will research. i will ice the dog white and do choco fur. will take photos and alert you. grrrerhahaha bet you never guessed i was so suzy homemaker. oh and mr she got me a kitchen aid mixer. wow!!! beats the HELL out of that hideous hand mixing. i love it.

she said...

no i did not do as you told me, i am a moron. i wanted shapes...when i went to the b and b's site and read the recipe they werent cut cookies. but ive learned my hard lesson now and i will NEVER divert off your advice again. as long as i live!! grrherhaha

Aunty Belle said...

WHAT?/ Dern, whar's I been--oh oh...think I done died and gone to mah pink cloud jes' this side of heaven--wow--will have a grand time lookin' around in here!!

BUT< Whar' is them cocokie recipes ya gave SHE???

Patti said...

mmmmmmm......