Author Topic: Ratatouille  (Read 1677 times)

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M1911A1

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Ratatouille
« on: September 02, 2013, 09:55:46 PM »
Ratatouille: What to do with all that excess zucchini, squash, and eggplant.
Here are two separate recipes.

Any mix of zucchini, squash, and eggplant will do. It's also OK to use only one of them.
However, to make the classic dish from the south of France, you must include eggplant.

At least one really big zucchini or squash, sliced into 1/8"-thick rounds.
An eggplant of similar size (if you're using eggplant), sliced into 1/8"-thick rounds.
A volume of tomatoes equal to the volume of zucchini, squash, or eggplant, cut into 1/8"-thick rounds.
About half of the same volume of onion as tomatoes, also sliced the same way. (More onion is OK.)
Either one red pepper or one green pepper, or both, or neither. Remove the tops and seeds, and slice.
At least four cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely. (More garlic is more French. Use as much as you dare.)
At least a tablespoon of drained capers. More is better, so use two or three if you're adventurous.
Salt to taste.
Olive oil.
Flour (if you're using eggplants).

If you're using eggplant, dredge the slices lightly in flour.
Put 1/8" of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Let it heat up at medium until it's fragrant.
Add the sliced onion and the garlic, and sauté until the onions are just about transparent.
Add the sliced eggplant, if you're using it, and continue to sauté.
Add everything else except the capers, tomatoes, and salt, and sauté until it's all well oiled.
Now cover the skillet or frying pan, turn the heat to low, and let the whole thing simmer for an hour.
Remove the cover, add the tomatoes, and cook at medium-low until the tomatoes have broken down.
Add salt to taste. Stir well.
Finally, add the capers. Cook for about 10 minutes more.
Eat.

The result is a mush, but a mush with a marvelous flavor and texture. It is either a vegetable or a sauce, and the French use it both ways.
The mess is even better after being refrigerated overnight, as the flavors meld more. In that case, it can be served either hot or cold.
Cold, you can put it over lettuce leaves to make a salad. It is its own salad dressing.

Here's another method that I've read about, but haven't tried:
Use a baking dish, rather than a frying pan. Put the oil into the bottom of the baking dish.
Layer the onion and the garlic into the oil, evenly covering the bottom of the dish. (Add a layer of red or green peppers, if you're using them.)
Setting the slices on edge, start with a row of vegetables at the left of the dish and then alternate rows, eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, then repeat, and repeat, and repeat until the dish is full. Wedge the slices in very tightly.
Sprinkle salt over it all.
Add the capers on top, in a pretty even scatter.
Cover the dish and put it into a preheated 350° oven for at least an hour. Probably more. Everything should look like what it is, rather than mush, but it should be quite soft all the way through.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 09:42:21 AM by M1911A1 »
Steve,
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Charles1951

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 05:30:02 AM »
Thanks Steve. And here I was thinking ratatouille was just an animated movie.
Charles

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M1911A1

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 09:41:17 AM »
I've corrected the recipe: By mistake, I called for too much sliced tomato.
The amount of sliced tomato should equal that of only one of the other vegetables, not all three.
If you're using only one vegetable, then use a volume of tomatoes equal to 1/3 of that.

Sorry 'bout the confusion.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

M1911A1

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 10:56:12 PM »
I've just finished making a test version, all squash.
(Well, there's onions and green peppers in it, too.)

Observations:
Use at least four cloves of garlic to four good-size squash. Otherwise, it's bland.
Use two tablespoons of drained capers. Three would've been too much, for squash.
I needed to use more salt than I normally would have, also because squash is a bland vegetable.
I used six Roma tomatoes, because they're small. Flavorful, but small.

Otherwise, it came out very well indeed.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


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NorCalChuck

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 10:47:11 AM »
Did I just read what I think I read?   :'(
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Tadrian

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 01:00:03 PM »
Did I just read what I think I read?   :'(

Yup...sure did.  Steve's making stuff to eat I can't even pronounce...
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M1911A1

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 01:27:51 PM »
Tomorrow:
My recipe for "Long Pig."
(I got it from a New Guinea native, who tells me it tastes "just like chicken.")
Steve,
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Taurian

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 09:17:07 AM »
Speaking of Ratatouille, Steve, I could use a good recipe for delicious Boston Baked Beans. Would you have one handy?
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M1911A1

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Re: Ratatouille
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 03:53:38 PM »
Baked beans? Nope, sorry.
Jean and I like modified Bush's Best (brand name) Maple Cured Bacon (flavor) canned (yikes!) baked beans.
I modify them by adding sautéed onion, dark molasses, and K.C. Masterpiece (brand) barbecue sauce to them, according to our taste. Sometimes, I also add cooked and crumbled bacon too.
Usually I serve the beans with a par-boiled (to remove salt), then fried, thick slice of ham.

Rombauer's The Joy of Cooking has a few good-sounding recipes for baked beans, but I've never actually done any of 'em.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."