My boyfriend’s title, but fitting, as this Saturday night we made ratatouille– Tamara’s Ratatouille (pg. 74), specifically.
I love ratatouille. Ever since I saw the Disney movie (seriously) I wanted to try it. And, of course, I had to make it just like the one in the movie with nice evenly-cut veggies using my mandolin. In fact, ratatouille was one of the first home-cooked meals I made my my boyfriend way back when we started dating in Vermont. So this dish seems fitting for us now that we’re finally together again in Alaska.
This ratatouille dish is very different from the one I usually make, but I was open for something new and figured it would be just as delicious.
I am super glad I read the directions before this one.
(1) Chef says to “get all your veg prep done before you start cooking.” This is KEY. I did this and it made the cooking go much more smoothly. Since you are continually adding the different veggies, at approximately 5 minute intervals, it was helpful to have everything sitting on my counter ready to go when needed.
(2) After all that prep, the stew needs to simmer for 30 minutes, and then needs to bake for 30 minutes, meaning this is a recipe for a night when you have a couple of hours to spare. I am glad I read this, too, because I started cooking a couple of hours before I wanted to eat. I began veg prep at about 5 pm and the ratatouille didn’t come out of the oven until 7:15. So just make sure you plan on that!
The ingredients were basic. There were some non-traditional, shall we say, ratatouille veggies in there, like butternut squash and green beans, but there was nothing hard to find. As I mentioned earlier, having everything prepared in advance was key as I could easily add the ingredients at each stage.
Only one mishap occurred. After I had diced the green chile, I scratched my eyelid. The pain! It really got me But I recovered and our dinner was not impacted in the least. Btw, I used 1 large jalepeno and found that the spice level was just perfect.
Everything was finally put together and set to simmer…
It came out great! This dish was everything I look for in a ratatouille: comfort food that highlights the veggies and fills you up inside. The “new” veggies that went in which I usually don’t use gave the dish some unique highlights – the butternut squash made it slightly sweet, but the bitter parsnip and pepper evened that out. I also found it was not as tomatoey as mine is (which is fine, just different). We went with 4 stars. This was a very yummy dinner, but wasn’t quite the taste-altering experience some of the higher rated dishes have been. It is, however, on my list of dishes to make for company (especially in the rainy Juneau fall). I will definitely make this again!
Chef’s L (pg. 75) & Mine (R)