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Ratatouille

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by kirstens, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. kirstens

    kirstens

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    I know I could google recipes and I do have a couple stashed in my cookbooks, but I'm curious to see other's recipes. Anyone?
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    No need to look further than the great Thomas Keller's recipe.  It's very time consuming but it's all worth it.

    Thomas Keller's Ratatouille
    Serves 4

    For piperade:

    1/2 red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
    1/2 yellow pepper, seeds and ribs removed
    1/2 orange pepper, seeds and ribs removed
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
    3 tomatoes (about 12 ounces total weight), peeled, seeded and finely diced, juices reserved
    1 sprig thyme
    1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 bay leaf
    Kosher salt

    For vegetables:

    1 zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch rounds
    1 Japanese eggplant, (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For vinaigrette:

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    Assorted fresh herbs (thyme flowers, chervil, thyme)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To make piperade:

    Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.

    Combine oil, garlic and onion in medium skillet and cook over low heat on stovetop until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes, do not brown; add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt and discard herbs. Reserve 1 tablespoon of mixture and spread remainder in bottom of an 8-inch ovenproof skillet.

    To prepare vegetables:

    Heat oven to 275 degrees. In center of skillet arrange 8 alternating slices of vegetables, 2 each of zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes, over piperade, overlapping in a circle so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Continue alternating and overlapping vegetables in close spiral that lets slices mound slightly in center. Repeat until pan is filled; all vegetables may not be needed.

    Mix garlic, oil and thyme leaves in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables. Cover skillet with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.) If there is excess liquid in pan, place over medium heat on stove until reduced. (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. If desired, reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.)

    To make vinaigrette:

    Combine reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

    To serve:

    Heat broiler and place byaldi underneath until lightly browned. Cut in quarters and very carefully lift one quarter onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding byaldi into fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Keller is great but also nuts.  It's strictly personal opinion of course, but I see that recipe as way too much trouble for any but the most formal of circumstances.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    Here's my ratatouille: 

    French Fries' Ratatouille
    Serves many for several days

    Eggplants 2 lbs
    Zucchini 2 lbs
    Red bell peppers 1 lbs
    1 big onion finely minced
    Tomatoes 2 lbs
    Garlic to taste, crushed and minced
    Bouquet garni with thyme, celery and fennel

    All quantities are guidelines. Some people make ratatouille without eggplant. Or without zucchini. Or without pepper. Adjust the recipe to match the season, the market, and you and your family's taste.

    1) Prep all veggies, dicing everything in about 1/2'' cubes.

    2) Make the tomato fondue: 
    Sweat onion in a little olive oil. Add tomato, garlic and bouquet garni. Season, and if necessary, add sugar and or tomato paste. If you use good ripe tomatoes, it's not necessary. Cook on low heat until all the water from the tomatoes evaporates.

    3) In a pan with a little olive oil, lightly saute the zucchini, giving them a light golden color, until almost cooked but still firm.

    4) In another pan with a little olive oil, lightly saute the eggplant, light color, still firm.

    5) In another pan with a little olive oil, lightly saute the bell peppers, keeping them a bit firm.

    6) Add zucchini, eggplants and bell peppers to tomato fondue, gently mix and let cook very, very slowly for 15-20mn.

    The result should be an amazing mix of vegetables that still have their individual identity, and still have some bite. All the flavors are layered. There shouldn't be much juice at all in the pan.

    Note: Ratatouille is absolutely delicious served cold. In that case you can add black olives, capers, basil...

    Now for the week nights:

    French Fries' Quick Ratatouille

    1) Lightly saute the onion in olive oil.
    2) Add the bell peppers, lightly saute and let soften a bit.
    3) Add the eggplant, lightly saute and let soften a bit.
    4) Add the zucchini, lightly saute and let soften a bit.
    5) Add the tomato and the bouquet garni, and let cook until all veggies are tender.

    The result will be more mushy, more juicy than the first recipe. It will be more "one taste", with no layers of flavors, and veggies most likely wont' have a bite to them. This is quite good served with white rice to mop up the juices. But nowhere near as good as the first recipe.

    Tip: If you like the taste of garlic, reserve some of the minced garlic and add it 5-10mn before the end of the cooking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    but I see that recipe as way too much trouble for any but the most formal of circumstances.

    To say the very least! I mean we're talking about ratatouille. You know, ratatouille---basically an at-home, rustic, farmhouse dish.

    But, of course, without fancying it up, there's no way you could include a mere vegetable stew as part of a $250 pris fixe menu.

    Koukouvagia: At the very end of Keller's recipe you introduce the word "byaldi." Is that the skillet full of veggies?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    KYHeirloomer, funny, I missed that word in Keller's description, but when I read the recipe I was thinking: "This is not ratatouille - this gratin Ismael Byaldi"... at least that's how I know it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confit_byaldi
     
  7. kirstens

    kirstens

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Keller's seems all the worth it but really does seem time consuming. Does anyone serve rice or pasta with theirs?
     
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    We seldom (more like never) have ratatouille as a main.  Most often we use it as the vegetable siding grilled meat -- especially ground beef steak -- along with rice more often than mash.  Mashed potatoes want gravy. 

    Gravy, do you hear me?

    BDL
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    As I said at the end of my second recipe, we serve it with rice. Even as a side dish with a steak or chicken or even fish, "runny" ratatouille goes wonderfully with rice. Never with pasta. Never with mashed potatoes or potatoes of any kind.

    The "real" ratatouille (my first recipe) shouldn't have juices and therefore doesn't need the rice, but they still go together well.
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Funny, but I don't know.  I cut and paste this recipe to my records some time ago from another forum so I can't be sure.  I always took it as the pan of veggies like you say. 

    All hard work aside this is a phenomenal recipe well worth the trouble it takes to make.  It's great for a large dinner party.

    I do have a greek version of ratatouille that is much less time consuming where I use only zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and garlic.  All are cut in similar round slices like traditional ratatouille.  I then toss the veggies with olive oil, parsley, dill, and sometimes mint, oregano, and salt/pepper.  Arrange in a large pan and roast until tender and golden.  It goes perfectly with fish.
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    Did you see the wikipedia link I posted? It explains the dish and its history.

    PS: I looked at your picture - looks very tasty for sure!
     
  12. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    KK: Tried looking at your pix and got a message that it had been moved or deleted. Did you take it away?
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    don't know what's going on with the pic, it tells me it's moved or deleted too.  Sorry.
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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  15. nichole

    nichole

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    I've never made this dish before, and frankly after seeing the movie i was curious as to how it tasted.... gonna bookmark this so that I can try making it!
     
  16. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Keller's recipe looks interesting, but I don't know that I'd call it ratatouille.  Sure, it contains all the right ingredients, but it just seems too formal a presentation for what is essentially vegetable stew.  I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of the ratatouille (don't care for eggplant or zucchini, but I have made it many, many times, a number of different ways.  In one of my favorite ways, my chef, an old French guy, used to have us add just a bit of mashed banana when we added all the sauteed vegetables to the tomato fondue.  You couldn't taste the banana but it gave the ratatouille just the slightest hint of sweetness and added an underlying flavor that seemed to round out the rest.  To this day, if I make ratatouille add a bit of banana to it.
     
  17. jock

    jock

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    I seem to remember that the folks at America's Test Kitchen did Ratatouille once. It was pretty straight forward too; more in line with the dish's origins as simple country food.
     
  18. bughut

    bughut

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    I like to griddle all the veg first with olive oil.  Aubergines,zucchini, red onions garlic and peppers. I also add mushrooms. I griddle them in chunky slices then chop them up.

    Add REALLY good chopped tomatoes. worcester sauce, chilli flakes, S&P 1/2 tsp sugar for every tin of toms.Lots of dried oregano and reduce well. I also add a spice mix called sexy n sassy,which i bought in Charlston market. I vaguely know whats init, it just gives it  oomph!

    I like to cook big batches and put in freezer bags as it's so useful.

    Terrific for lasagne.

    Or take portobello mushrooms, spread inside with 1 tsp Philli.
    Add a huge dollop of veg mix which has been mushed up a bit. Top with a mix of mature cheddar and mozarella and bake in a med-hot oven till browned. its great as a side, or snack with rocket salad

    also, there is always wee tubs of leftover bolognese in my freezer. I add some to the ratatouille and mix with cooked macaroni. Put in a dish and top sliced tomatoes and a mix of parmesan, cheddar and mozarella.

    Or get out the toasty maker.Brush a WEE bit of evoo on the outside of the bread. Fill with veg mix and sprinkle with thin shards of ham and parmesan

    I've even "Thai'd" it. Replacing 1/2 the tinned tomatoes with coconut milk. Add a few kafir lime leaves and some Thai red curry paste before reducing. Served with sticky rice.Or you could not reduce much attal, mush it up a bit and serve as soup.

    You'll have gathered I use the basic ratatouille recipe quite a lot. I do think it lends itself to so many adaptations. BTW.Once its made to your liking. My favourite recipe is to put it in my terracotta crock, which has soaked in water overnight. Then i place on top browned chicken legs.lid on and bake for an hour. served with brown basmati rice, yogurt and homemade rotis
    The veg does end up well overcooked, but so gorgeous.
     
  19. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I am not a great fan of freezing food - but in the autumn, I always make huge batch of ratatouille to freeze to get me through the UK winter.

    Home grown tomatoes, courgettes (zucchini) and onions make a great start on the dish!
     
  20. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    If you'd rather not freeze it, Ishbel, you might consider canning.

    I put up a year's supply of Caponata every fall. Considering that's just the Italian version of ratatouille I don't imagine you'd have much trouble.