The word ratatouille comes from Occitan ratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine. The French touiller means to toss food. Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) and Niça (French: Nice); the Catalan “xamfaina” and the Majorcan “tombet” are versions of the same dish.
I have no clue what any of that means…when I hear the word Ratatouille…I think if this…
Image from Imdb.com
Yes a RAT..a cute funny rat from the Disney Pixar Movie Ratatouille…
Watching it SEVERAL times over the past weekend inspired me to try and cook the actual dish…sans help of a rat of course…
I was also inspired by the movies famous Chef…Chef Gusteau…who says…”Anyone can cook”. So I decided to try the Ratatouille recipe from my favourite chef…Miss Julia Child’s…Mastering the Art of French Cooking…
Not going to lie, her cook book intimidates the hell out of me. It is not an easy read and she does everything to the letter and only uses the best ingredients…Insert LARGE glassof wine here to get me through just actually understanding the recipe.
DAMN this woman was thorough …Does this really say what I think it says…???
DRY EACH PIECE…Who has that kind of time? Yet I am committed to following the recipe…until I get too damn lazy…
So, Julia and Chef Gusteau and I begin… (you see I have a clear grasp on reality…)
1 lb. eggplant
1 lb. zucchini
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 sliced red or green peppers (about 1 cup)
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced
3 Tbsp. minced parsley
Peel the eggplant, cut into lengthwise slices 3/8″ thik, about 3″ long and 1″ wide. Scrub zucchini, slice off the ends and cut into slices about same size as the eggplant. Place vegetables in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry each slice in a towel.
One layer at a time, saute eggplant and then zucchini in 4 Tbsp hot olive oil in a 10-12″ skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.
And Yes…I even dried EACH piece with a towel…
In the same skillet, cook onions and peppers (add an additional 2 Tbsp. of olive oil if needed) for about 10 mins, until tender but not browned. Stir in garlic and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Step 4- And…here is where I get a little Ghetto and deviated from Julia’s recipe a little…I just could not justify this next step…
Slice tomato pulp into 3/8″ strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt & pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, taste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.
…Now I can see doing this when fresh local tomatoes are in season and super tasty…but I just bought pre-peeled and cut tomatoes..and saved myself a good 30 minutes prep time and lord knows how much frustration…
Place a third of the tomatoe mixture in the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole (about 2 1/2″ deep). Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. fresh, minced parlsey over tomatoes. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Step 6- FINAL STEP!!
Cover casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with rendered juices. Correct seasoning if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole!. Serves 6-8.
And for the best part…SERVE!!!
Even tho it was a lot of work to prepare…it was…
And fun too, I kept talking in my best Julia accent while cooking…
I served this fab dish up with Red Wine…I chose a Malbec because …well…that is what I like…However if there were more people drinking than just me…I would choose something lighter in body…like a Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir…
If your a white wine Drinker…I would serve a Pinot Grigio..or a nice Sparkling wine…
The only thing I would do different next time, I will be making it again. Is to double or even triple the recipe so I could freeze the extra and have great ready to sides or pasta toppers. It was a lot of work for just one dinner…But EMPTY plates were all around! WIN!~
AND YOU COULD WIN TOO!!!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what Movie inspired you to try a recipe or simply cook OR who your fave Celeb Chef is and why…and your Entered…That simple…The winner will be chosen at random and will get this FAB Hamilton Beach Electric Skillet …!! I have this and LOVE it, use it all the time. It honestly is the easiest “Clean Up” appliance I own…LUV…
For Extra Entries…
- Follow Ghetto Foodie on Twitter & be sure to let me know that you did!! = 1 Extra Entry
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**If you already do this…be sure to let me know and you will still get your 2 entries…and thank you for the Luv!! **
- Tweet this... I’m Ratting out @ghettofoodie & @hbcanadanews FAB #Contest http://tinyurl.com/7m6px33 = 1 Extra Entry
- Follow @HbCanadaNews on Twitter & Like their FaceBook page & leave me a comment here letting me know that you did…if you already do these..let me know and you will still get your entries!!! = 2 Extra Entries
Good Luck…Let your Inner Celebrity Chef …SHINE….
Cheers and a Huge Thank you to Hamilton Beach for the Fab Prize…
*Contest Opened to Canadian residents only.
*Contest Closes Sunday March 4th at 12 midnight Toronto time..;) and the winner will be
announced the evening of
Monday March 5th on this Blog, Ghetto Foodie Twitter site and Ghetto Foodies Facebook page.
*Winner will be chosen by Random.org