Wednesday, February 17, 2010

lets cook!ratatouille.....

Every house hold has their own recipe for ratatouille, so does a friend of mine. Her recipe is very unique, because she fry vegetables separately. She told me that this will give the smoky flavor that you would not get from the the traditional ratatouille. She also adding tomato paste instead of fresh tomato or canned tomato, so the flavor is really concentrated. The long simmer on a low heat will reduce the liquid a little and make the ratatouille silkier. I honestly like to make ratatouille this way, yes it takes longer time to fry the vegetables one by one but, it is worth all the effort.

4 small Italian Eggplant, quartered and cut into 1" thick cube
2 Red/Yellow bell peppers cubed
2 zucchinis, sliced
1 small white onion, cut into half then cut into ¼" thick slice
2-3 garlic cloves whole peeled
1 can (16 oz) chicken stock
2 tbs Tomato paste
olive oil
1 cup roughly chopped basil
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

* Fry the eggplant, bell pepper, zucchinis, white onion and garlic in a little oil separately. So that the eggplant gets some color, the peppers and zucchinis get some chars, onions start sweating and the garlic is brown and soft and start to release the fragrance.
* Layer them into a cooking pot, add the chicken stock, and tomato paste. Simmer on low for 45 mins. Stir once or twice. Add chopped parsley, taste and add salt and pepper if desire (sometime the chicken stock is already salty enough)

I serve the ratatouille with simple grilled salmon and steam couscous. Special thanks for "CB" who kindly enough e-mail me the recipe years ago.

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