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:

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


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.


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 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...