Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rat-patootie

That's Maia's silly name for ratatouille. Gotta love 5-year old humor.
Ratatouille was a hit - now I just need a movie called "Broccoli Soup" and "Turkey Sandwich". I used a combination of several recipes but started mostly with this one from epicurious making some significant changes based on the comments. I also looked at Julia Child's ratatouille recipe and a version that was supposed to be like the one in the movie. Here's my summary:

2.5 lbs tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
thyme* and herbes de provence*
1 T sugar*
tomato paste*
1 cup chopped parsley
olive oil (I used significantly less than what was called for in the recipe)
2 small eggplant (I think they were the Japanese variety)
salt
2 large onions
3 bell peppers (I used 2 green and one red)
2 medium zucchini (I sliced mine thin, instead of in chunks)
1 other squash (it was green and round, quartered and sliced thin)
black pepper
* added based on comments in recipe

- I made the sauce per the directions in a 5 quart oven safe sauce pan, adding a few different ingredients, and leaving out the basil. My understanding is that basil is not a traditional ingredient in ratatouille.
- Then I tossed the cubed eggplant in salt as directed.
- I cooked the vegetables as directed but with much less oil and only sauteed the squashes briefly. I added the onions, eggplant, and bell peppers to the sauce as each was cooked.
- Instead of cooking longer on the stove, I layered the zucchini and other squash on top of the other vegetables and put a buttered piece of parchment paper (cut to size) on top of it all and put it in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

I could imagine using individual ramekins to cook in the oven and serve and it would look prettier on the plate. I could imagine more eggplant too. I think mine were a little too small.

I'm supposed to start working next week a regular 24-hour per week schedule. I still haven't worked out all the child care details but hopefully it will all come together. I am looking forward to the regular paycheck but I am a little (hehe, understatement) anxious about how "it will all get done". I don't want to give up my cooking adventures, my garden adventures, my trips to the farmer's market. I'd gladly give up some of the more mundane tasks of the week but of course I can't abandon that stuff either. So I decided to start a painting. I know, there's no logic but it will all work itself out. Hopefully. More the on the painting soon. Hopefully. There's that word again.

I have a new name that bird - can't believe we've lived here 6 years and we've never seen this little one. Any guesses out there?

2 comments:

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Looks like a wren to me!! WE call them chicken birds because they hop around with their tails up in a very chicken-like manner!! : )

Love the Rat-Patootie Name -- wish they'd also make a movie called grilled salmon and wild rice so my kids would eat it!

Michelle said...

Loving Mia's pronunciation :o)