Saturday, August 6, 2016

Late Night Kitchen Sink Ratatouille

Your guess would be as good as mine as to why I made ratatouille just now at 1 AM.

I generally tend to view anything that doesn't involve meat as fairly easy when it comes to the labor, even if it isn't.

I've had some eggplants sitting around and I've been meaning to do something with them. They gave me the inspiration to make ratatouille, but they're still sitting on my counter because I bought another eggplant for my ratatouille purposes when I was at the store earlier. I did not have my phone on me, so I could not look up a recipe for ratatouille to make sure I had all the ingredients. I decided I was gonna wing it (improvise).

When I got home, I looked up recipes and realized that I was missing bell peppers. I decided that this was not a big deal. It also wasn't hard to find a recipe that felt the same way I did:

Ratatouille with No Peppers, and a Rat

The rat refers to Pixar's Ratatouille which is one of the best movies ever. The ending makes me cry every single time.

Anyway, on to my recipe modifications:

In my dutch oven, I added 2 Tbsp of olive oil and let it heat up. I coarsely diced 1 1/2 medium onions, added them to the pot and sauteed them for about 3-4 minutes before adding 3 chopped garlic cloves. While this is going on, I took a cue from Cook's Illustrated: The Science of Good Cooking. I chopped my eggplant into 1" x 1" cubes, salted them, and warmed them for about 6 minutes. This helps remove excess water and it makes the eggplant cook up more tender. Once it's done in the microwave, I dumped the eggplant onto a paper towel lined plate. When the garlic is fragrant and the onions are translucent, I added the eggplant and cooked until it was translucent, after this, remove the contents of the pot, add more oil (another 2 Tbsp) and add coarsely chopped zucchini and yellow squash (2 of each, both kind of smallish in size) saute until they brown and soften a bit (~10 minutes). Add the eggplant, onions, and garlic back to the pan, mix, then dump a can of diced tomatoes in. At this point, after mixing I added salt, pepper, and whatever dried herbs I could find (oregano, thyme, basil). I let it simmer over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes because I felt I didn't let the squash soften enough so I thought that this step couldn't hurt.

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