Friday, November 16, 2007

... a rat in the kitchen....

... but such a cute rat!

Some of you may visit my other (supposed to be bear and doll making) blog and some don't... and vice versa... so today ... same post, different blog for each of them. Not that the recipe is "to-die-for" ...although it is very tasty... but I think the situation is a fun one.

Have you seen Ratatouille yet? I love it; have watched it several times already. The wine in the glass moves like the real thing....... ..the looks on little Remy's face are priceless, his brother Emile is hilarious, .... maybe it is because I like to cook and know a few things about ingredients, herbs and recipes that it really strikes a chord...who knows. All I know is...I love it. And the thing of it is.... it definitely seems to have spurred me on this past few weeks. I have not done any bear or doll making at all... just having some fun in the kitchen.

::: aside to Judi...... I, did, however, find some parka material and some "liquid silver" fabric to use for my mermaid's tail!! }}}

Ratatouille is a common dish ... very common actually; it is a French peasant dish. Almost every cook book sports at least one and sometimes two different versions. None of them looked like the exquisite version served to the food critic in the movie. They all looked like a soup or stew and not all that appetizing to my eye.... although the ingredients were lovely veggies. But, you know how most veggies look after cooking... nyeh.... ...... and some of the recipes wanted them cooked for hours. Kept looking..... and found the original recipe used as the basis for the look of the dish in the movie. Printed in The New York Times of all places. However, it was one of those that seems pretty confusing and more than a bit time consuming. I decided to wing it and invent my own version making it look a bit more appetizing. Then, the other day, while blog hopping, I landed on the Smitten Kitchen ... and ....this! Okay...this is more like it. Simple, yet probably tastes just as great...looks very nice and the veggies still look like veggies. Copy, print, and cook.

I don't own a mandoline as she the cutting takes a bit of time...but the layering is the most time consuming it seems. And... because my zucchini and my eggplant were miles apart in size...I had to compensate a bit to make it look appealing. I used two little zucchini rounds for each layer.... and cut the whole eggplant in half to begin with and then in quarters for some of the layering especially around the curves. Yes, yes...a lot of fiddling..but for the first go round..I wanted to see if I could make it look similar to the original. I like my effort.... Greg loved my effort...and it disappeared in a single sitting.

Before baking.

I served it over couscous with a few small chunks of Feta cheese sprinkled on top; a thick round of sourdough bread and lovely glass of Mouton Cadet.... who knows if it is recommended as a pairing for such a peasant dish .. lol ... but, after all, it is French as well... maybe the Baron wouldn't mind. All in all...a wonderful combination for us. I was happy about the couscous under our little layer of Ratatouille ... as the sauce is pretty flavourful and would have been almost too overpowering on its own. I still wouldn't mind trying some of the other ingredients called for in the original recipe and perhaps combining the two somehow.... ... hmmmm.......

The finished dish...over couscous...still maintaining some semblance of the original veggies even though they have been baked for 45 minutes. (sealed under parchment paper)

Check out this guy's recipe too if you are interested in other options...think I might like this one as well.

UPDATE: I have discovered that Johnny has a "other half" .... her name is Mel... check out their site...


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I just love the colors in that dish. Couldn't eat it, though, because I don't eat cooked veggies. Gee, I should save that for the crazy things that people don't know about me tag. LOL!

Oh, I do want you to know that I added sausage to my own cheesy corn chowder recipe and it was a hit. A big hit! We all loved it.

Thanks for visiting me and for your nice comments. I am going to add your blog to my list. Do you have a preference for which one?

Bumblebeaires "Vee" said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bumblebearies "Vee" said...

Hiya Vee.... look, I figured out how to change my handle too. Took a while to get an idea on that... we can change it around just for our own blogs without changing it on the profile...alright.

Nope...doesn't matter to me which blog you use ...and tx for adding me to your list.