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Ratatouille--Cook-Off 42

Cookoff

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43 replies to this topic

#31 nickrey

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:27 AM

I've done this a few times (two to be precise) and thought I'd share it with you.

The basic premise came from Michel Guerard who did a Lamb charlotte in his Cuisine Gourmande cookbook (a blast from the past). Anyway, I do the basic recipe in individual ramekin dishes, which is rather appealing aesthetically.

So, an eggplant shell became the outside for individual ratatouille.

Here is the finished product
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And this is how we get there.

First peel the eggplant and slice very thinly using a mandoline:

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Next, fry the eggplant in olive oil:

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You will smell when it is ready for turning.

Next drain the fried eggplant slices on kitchen paper. Then start lining the ramekin:

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Continue with the remainder of the fried slices:

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I always do one or two more than are necessary to cut off bits to cover
holes.

Next fry in olive oil the individual components (eggplant at top, sliced zucchini next clockwise, sliced tomato next then diced onion. Note, you could use baked half cherry tomatoes but given it is winter here, the quality today was not good.

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The start layering the elements of the dish:

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Then fold the eggplant slices over the contents:

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Next put in a bain marie:

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Cook at 180 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees farenheit for around 40 minutes
(check to see if it looks cooked [see below])

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Take out of the pan, dry it off, put the plate on top of it and invert (tap
the top a few times).

The product is:

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Voila.

ps. I seasoned the contents during cooking. Yes, you can add garlic (oops, I omitted it tonight).

Basil leaves would be nice between the layers.

Enjoy :)

Edited by nickrey, 18 August 2008 - 03:22 PM.

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#32 Shelby

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:33 AM

Wow, that is gorgeous! Thanks for showing us!

#33 LizD518

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:26 AM

Wow! Those individual ratatouilles are beautiful!

This wan never a dish I was fond of growing up - too heavy on onions, which I love now, but they have to be cooked soft & sweet.

I made the Byaldi from "The French Laundry" last night. I have been catching up on "The French Laundry At Home" so I got the book from the library and I am determined to try a few things before ihave to take it back. This seemed like the perfect place to start.

It was easy to do, and the result was fab-u-lous. If I hadn't already eatern a big dinner before it was done cooking, I would have sat down and eaten the whole plate! I'm having some mixed with pasta for lunch today. Alas, no pictures though.

#34 Eilen

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 10:06 AM

nickrey, that looks so pretty.

Here's my effort, from last Thursday:

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I used this recipe from Fine Cooking, and I loved it. You can see in the first picture that I didn't bother peeling the tomatoes, or the eggplant. They were both so fresh that I didn't think it was necessary. I really like the method of reducing the juices and adding a squeeze of lemon juice with the herbs. When I do it again, I'll add more onion, as they were my favorite.

#35 LindaK

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:12 PM

What beautiful photos. They all look delicious. I am afraid I won't have a kitchen before eggplant season ends, and I'll have to wait until next summer to make ratatuoille.

Maggie, I also love ratatouille with eggs, in a frittata especially. And the chickpea addition doesn't sound weird at all, in fact it sounds very tasty. Other favorite uses for extra ratatouille are as a topping for pizza or, chopped extra finely with plenty of fresh basil and capers, with crackers or crostini as an appetizer.

Edited by LindaK, 18 August 2008 - 07:13 PM.


 


#36 Pam R

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:38 PM

Leftovers tonight definitely better than the first go last night.

#37 KatieLoeb

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 11:32 PM

It's always better the second night. In fact, it gets better for several days.

I've been eating mine over the grains and on crackers all week. I think I'll make a ratatouille omelet before the week is out.

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#38 purplewiz

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:47 PM

I've been making a grilled ratatouille of sorts this summer, and I finally remembered to take pictures as I was doing so.

It deviates from the standard recipe in that I don't use bell peppers. I like them, they don't like me. 'Nuff said.

So I start with a big bowl of cubed zucchini (2), yellow squash(2), and eggplant(1), and another of cherry tomatoes (lots) (could use large tomatoes cut into larger pieces, but I have an inordinate amount of cherry tomatoes, my plants are being most prolific this year):

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I toss them with a little olive oil, enough to coat, not enough to soak the eggplant, and skewer them with some red onion:

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Then off to the grill. I use a very hot grill because the vegetables don't take long to cook and I want some nice dark spots of caramelization for flavor on them. I grill them about 2.5 - 3 minutes a side. I skewer the vegetables flat so they don't rotate all over the grill.

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You might ask why I am only grilling 4 skewers of vegetables when I obviously have a nice huge grill there. The answer is simple: I have only 4 skewers. I've been meaning to buy more, but I've never gotten around to it. I used to have some nice ones with wooden handles until the grill set the handles on fire. The bowl of vegetables filled 14 skewers.

When they're done, they look more or less like this:

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The tomatoes are grilled separately because they take a lot less time, 1-2 minutes max per side, just enough to heat through and char some:

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For the 14 skewers of vegetables, I had about 5 skewers of tomatoes. About a 3:1 ratio works pretty well, but as this is a stew, it's flexible.

Meanwhile, I heated some minced garlic in a little olive oil (2 tbsp?) until the garlic was fragrant and starting to brown:

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Then lightly mash the charred tomatoes and mix with the garlic and olive oil. salt, pepper, and basil (usually a proper chiffonade, but I was getting hungry so it ended up being a rough chop):

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Mix it all together and eat right away or let it sit to develop.

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Here it is as served with some grilled chicken. It was still a little juicy, but the chicken mopped up those juices very nicely.

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Marcia.

Edited by purplewiz, 29 August 2008 - 07:47 PM.

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#39 Pam R

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 08:19 PM

Marcia, that looks like a really nice light summery version. Do the flavours 'meld' as it sits?

I like the idea of grilling or smoking (lightly) the vegetables. The vegetables used would all seem to benefit from some of that charred flavour.

#40 purplewiz

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:54 PM

Marcia, that looks like a really nice light summery version.  Do the flavours 'meld' as it sits?

I like the idea of grilling or smoking (lightly) the vegetables.  The vegetables used would all seem to benefit from some of that charred flavour.

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Oh, yes, it's almost like a different dish after sitting overnight. I like it both ways - and you're right, the grilling gives the vegetables a lovely charred flavor. I don't have a smoker, but it sounds like a great variation to try!

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#41 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

I love that it's never too late to enter a cookoff. I'd like to submit my version, which is closer to a Basque version of the dish than the Provençal one - the recipe comes from a little farmhouse Mom stayed at while biking through the Pyrenees in the 70's; she's unsure whether she was in France or Spain at that point. It is aberrant from the other ratatouille in this thread in that it contains meat - in this case, ground beef, and a bit of cheese as well.

My stepdad, who trained at Cordon Bleu, calls this dish Rat Patootie. When I first served it to my friend Alain, who is from Provençe, he slapped me. Both happily take seconds when offered. If y'all think this isn't ratatouille, please accept my apologies, and tell me what it is.

Construction of the dish. The casserole is liberally olive oiled, then layered with tomatoes, spices, eggplant, zucchini, meat (fried with copious amounts of garlic and red onion, as well as peppers and mushrooms in this case) and queso fresco. I'd normally prefer a fresh goatsmilk cheese like chanvre here, but I was late to the market and the goatman was gone. Then continue layering with veggies until the casserole is full, and top with a bit more cheese. Ideally, the top and bottom layers are tomato.
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Comes out looking like this.
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#42 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:14 PM

I made ratatouille to go in our Mardi Gras pancakes yesterday.

 

Cooked the veggies separately
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Added to the tomato, onion and garlic sauce

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Finished

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Served

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#43 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:03 PM

Me again :biggrin:

 

Started back at work this week after half a year off. Totally overwhelmed with a big crisis immediately. I wanted to take a break and cook something nice but didn't really have time, so I did a rush job and wasn't very satisfied.

 

I just threw all the veggies together in the pan and they went quite soggy and tough, not luscious and melting like when you cook them each carefully on their own.

 

So don't do like me.

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Served with brown rice and roasted chickpeas. Still tasty. I ate it.



#44 Kerala

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:26 AM

Thanks for bringing this topic up again. I will definitely try the individual ratatouilles from upthread, and dig out the cartoon for the children's movie night this weekend.







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