Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rat-Patootie

I have been wanting to make (& eat) Ratatouille since I watched that darn Disney movie. There's something really disturbing about a rat cooking in the kitchen...but that Ratatouille dish in the movie (although just a cartoon) looked so delicious. After watching that movie, I was determined to make this dish that I've never even tried before. While food blog surfing I came across the Smitten Kitchen's website and found that she had recreated the Ratatouille from the movie. She posted a recipe along with amazingly beautiful pictures, so I decided to make her version of ratatouille and made sure to follow her recipe to a tee.
It was a lot of fun layering the veggies all pretty like. I baked it in my oven for about 50 minutes and topped it off with mozzarella cheese and ate it over a brown rice medley. I thought this dish turned out pretty good, and I thought that it tasted the way it was supposed to taste. Unfortunately, this dish was a no go for the rest of my family. They thought it lacked meat and was bland... Well, Patootie! At least I liked it right? Or am I just being biased cause I made it? RATATOUILLE'S RATATOUILLE RECIPE
*Smitten Kitchen's Recipe*

Ingredients:
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
3. Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
4. On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
5. Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
6. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
7. Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
8. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
9. Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.
We had some beautiful sea scallops that I seared for our appetizers to go along with dinner today. I "YouTube-d" instructions on how to perfectly sear scallops and I learned something new today! My scallops turned out so buttery, nutty, and flavorful. I love YouTube. I even learned how to cook my Thanksgiving turkey through YouTube back in November. If you haven't seen some of the amazing cooking videos on YouTube yet, you gotta check it out.

14 comments:

RecipeGirl said...

I've been wanting to make this too. Maybe this summer when I can find everything in season. It sure LOOKS pretty.

The scallops are fabulous looking. I haven't checked out U-tube for cooking videos, but it's a good idea!

fumipuriri said...

that dish looks really good! kirei ni naranderune oyasai! & the scallops.. umasooo!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

those are really perfect scallops!

i love everything abt this version of ratatouille ^_^

btw..

You're invited to my chinese take-out party, check out the details in my blogpost:
http://mochachocolatarita.blogspot.com/2008/05/celebrating-my-88th-post-chinese-take.html

Hope you'll play along :)

Looking forward to your take on chinese take-out ^_^

Ginny said...

I love that movie! Looks great! Youtube can be so helpful! I have friends who decided to learn how to waltz one day on youtube! :)

VeggieGirl said...

ahh, that ratatouille dish looks absolutely FABULOUS!!!

lovecokate said...

the scallops look amazing... i feel like i can taste them just by looking at your picture!

Brilynn said...

That looks like a wonderful dinner!

Welcome to the Daring Bakers, good luck with this month's challenge!

Kevin said...

Making Ratatouille has been on my list for a while now. An entire pan filled with roasted vegetables...mmm... Not every meal needs to have meat.

Sweet Sins said...

I have been wanting to try it since watching the movie as well!! Too bad the movie doe not come with a recipe book... I will have to try this recipe out

VEGAN TICKLES said...

I've made that ratatouille recipe a few times and each time it came out delicious.
Did you guys enjoy it

Kim Foster said...

Goodness! I've been looking for a great ratatouille recipe and yes, it's totally because of the movie. Damn it!

Thanks for stopping by to say "Hi" to me. I think your blog is just great.You have some delicious recipes here,and I'll be back for more. I'll also blogroll in the next week or so.

Talk soon!

Kim @ The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet
www.yummymummycooks.com

AnticiPlate said...

I agree with you about the ratatouille movie. I loved it, but the actual thought of a rat cooking in the kitchen is DISGUSTING. I am sorry your family did not like it. Your recipe looks beautiful, though. I love Smitten Kitchen.

Katerina said...

Beautiful pictures!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Good job recreating the Ratatouille! It does look really good, but my family would probably be just like your family.

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