Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

November 21, 2011

So I saw this beautiful recipe on smitten kitchen http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/rat-a-too-ee-for-you-ee/ and fell in love. Whenever I used to make ratatouille, it always looked like lumps of grey vegetables which I couldn’t serve to my friends. But this recipe is so easy and so pretty!

Ingredients:

2 cans of diced tomatoes

1 zuchinni

1 summer squash

1 onion

1 eggplant

2 cloves garlic

1 red or orange bell pepper

Sprinkle dried oregano

Sprinkle dried basil

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F

2. Mince the onion,and garlic cloves. Mix the onions and garlic with the two cans of diced tomatoes in the baking pan.

3. Add the oregano, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper to the tomato onion mixture. This mixture is going to be a “saucy” part of the ratatouille, so make sure to season it well.

4. Cut the eggplant length wise. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the eggplant, squash, and zucchini. Thinly slice the bell pepper.

5. Layer the sliced vegetables over the sauce. I like to put the vegetables in order eggplant-squash-zuchinni-pepper, but anything goes. It should look something like this:

6. Keep layering until the whole pan is covered.

7. Sprinkle the other tbsp of olive oil over the vegetable. Also add season the vegetable with a little salt and pepper.

8. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside of the baking pan. Cover the ratatouille.

9. Bake for 45-55 minutes. The tomato sauce should be bubbling around the sliced vegetables. The vegetable should look cooked, but not mushy.

I suggest serving this dish with quinoa, but couscous or crusty bread works as well. Now you can impress your friends with this pretty dish!

Now listening to: Flightless bird, American Mouth – Iron and Wine

Eggplant Parmigiana

March 29, 2010

Today, E taught us how to make eggplant parmesan the real way! She was inspired when saw someone make “chicken parmesan” which actually is not a true dish in Italy. We used a mixture of 2 typical eggplants and 3 Chinese eggplants today, but it tastes fine just using one type of eggplant. This was another Sunday afternoon project, but it was totally worth it!

Feeds 4-6 people, made in a 9×13″ pan

Ingredients:

4 Eggplants
1 Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2.5 cans diced tomatoes
2 leaves of basil
1 log (1lb) of mozarella cheese (this can be shredded or thinly sliced)
1.5 cups of shredded parmesan cheese

1. Skin all eggplants. Slice the eggplants lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices.

2. Put sliced eggplants in a bowl and salt the eggplant. Leave it alone until the eggplant sweats.  It should take at least 1 hour, it can be left up to 2-3 hours. (we put all our eggplants in a bowl and poured salt on the eggplant in every layer)

3. In the meantime, start on the tomato sauce. Dice the onion, and smash the whole clove of garlic.
4. Pour 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into a pot (E prefers doing this in a pan) and saute the onions.
5. When the onions are half transparent, add the whole garlic cloves
6. Once the onions the transparent and cooked, add the diced tomatoes. (like the picture below)

7. Let the mixture simmer in low heat until the tomato fall apart. Add two leaves of basil right before the sauce is ready. There is no need to add extra salt in the sauce since the eggplants are already salted. The sauce should taste almost sweet at this point. Take the garlic out of the sauce. Puree the tomato sauce in a blender.
8. Wash the eggplants thoroughly under running water. Dry the eggplants using paper towels. (the more you wash, the less salty the eggplants will be)
9. Heat up ample vegetable oil in a deep pan. Fry the eggplants in batches. The eggplant should be red/brown as it is taken out of the pan. Depending on the temperature, this should take 3-5 minutes.

10. Blot the fried eggplants with paper towels to get the oil out.
11. Preheat the oven to 375°F
12. Start layering! (in a 9×13” pan)
a.first layer a little bit of olive oil with the tomato sauce
b. layer of eggplants
c. layer of tomato sauce

d. layer mozarella cheese

e.  sparse layer parmesan cheese

f. repeat layers from eggplant
g. end the layers with the layer of parmesan cheese

13. Put the pan in the oven, and bake until the cheeses melt. This take approximately 30 minutes.

Bon Apetit!

Now Listening to: Hang on Little Tomato- Pink Martini

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