I totally meant to blog about this (see I DO think about it), but neglected to. I was going to take a pic with my phone too, but I forgot.
Ok, so we’ve likely all seen the Disney movie, Ratatouille, right? Good show, very entertaining. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the critic being reduced to tears by a peasant stew. Ok. Moving forward a couple years.
We’re watching The Next Food Network Star and Mellisa d’Arabian prepares this dish for a party of some of the best chefs and most severe critics in the industry. Mellisa says she has an easy mnemonic device for preparing the dish. EZ-POT. Eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes. The chefs and critics LOVE it. Moving forward a few weeks.
I’m over at Maceys and at the deli, I see a pan in their hot window of something I don’t recognize . I ask, and it’s ratatouille. Piqued, I ask why they have this. The corporate team came in that day for monthly meetings, and when they come to this store, the deli prepares breakfast and lunch for them. Someone had the great idea to bring their french flair to the table and they served yogurt and crepes in the morning, and ratatouille and couscous for lunch. I want to try it. They spoon up some couscous in a container and top it with a healthy dollop of ratatouille. I take it back to the office….and I LOVE IT!! Moving ahead a few weeks.
My wife and I are talking about what to eat one week, and I decide I want to make ratatouille for the family. I want to make sure I get it right, so I search foodnetwork.com for a good recipe. I can’t find the one Melissa made, but there’s one from Emeril. He’s trustworthy. His recipes take work, but they’re good. I make a list of the veggies I need, and Natalie adds them to the shopping list. I wanted to serve it with couscous because that’s how I had it and loved it.
So it takes like 45 minutes of chopping. Nothing bad, it’s just tedious. Then I start cooking. Emeril has a different order, so the EZ-POT doesn’t work. He starts with onions and garlic, then eggplant, zucchini, squash, peppers, then tomatoes. All said, it takes 17 minutes to cook. And that’s just occasionally stirring. I covered the pan so all the veggies would heat, not just the ones on the bottom. I didn’t measure exactly, so I think I had more vegetables than the recipe called for. That way I could feed all of us, not just four of us.
It was tasty! I loved it, Natalie liked it, and so did one of my girls. The other protested I believe solely on the fact that the meal consisted of vegetables and couscous. No meat. And the boy snarfed it up like sugar. We’re going to make it again. When I do, I’ll try and remember to take a picture.
It was tres’ tasty. I’ve offered to make it for a family gathering, but my wife correctly pointed out to me that many would not like it for the same reasons my daughter didn’t. Eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, etc. Oh well, their loss. Maybe I’ll just make it for my father.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup diced green bell peppers
- 1 cup diced red bell peppers
- 1 cup diced zucchini squash
- 1 cup diced yellow squash
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.
From Emeril Legasse