Thursday, December 10, 2009

Karen’s Version of Ratatouille Casserole
Region Prep time / Cooking time
Provence, Riviera
30 min / 45 min… they lie!
1 lb eggplant (1 large)
1 lb zucchini (courgette) (three small)
Or you can combine squashes to make 2 lb (like add yellow and white)
4 tb olive oil or as much as needed
Optional .. Hardwood smoked bacon (a few slices)
1/2 lb yellow onions (one medium) sliced and peeled
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves (or some chopped from jar in olive oil)
Splash of white wine
1 lb tomatoes, firm and ripe
Heinz ketchup!???
Splash of red wine
3 tb fresh Italian parsley
3 tb fresh thyme (fresh produce section combo season pack has thyme..
hard to find separate)
3 tb fresh basil
fresh shredded or shaved Parmesan/reggiano
Buy ingredients at the grocery and gourmet store
need extra large skillet or two and deep casserole dish (like 8x9 or so)

Ratatouille Recipe (serve 6)
Step 1: Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices (for large one, round is ok) or slice on an angle for longer want all the vege slices about the same thickness and roundness.. Cut the zucchini into slices and peel alternating…leave long stripes.. Place those vegetables in a bowl, cover with water and let rest for at least 30 minutes (I left and came back in an hour and a half). Drain.
Step 2: original recipe says Sauté the eggplant and zucchini with olive oil (and bacon if desired) in a skillet. One minute on each side. Set aside. I cooked longer and hotter so the veges were browned (not burnt) on each side, be careful not to overcook or let break apart
Step 3: afterward..Cook the onions with olive oil and same bacon (in the same skillet) for 10 minutes over moderate heat. Stir in the garlic and add salt and pepper and splash of white wine if desired,.let cook down a minute while you do step 4.
Step 4: boil the tomatoes for 30 seconds then peel. Cut into slices. Lay them over the onions in the skillet. Drizzle over olive oil and splash of red wine during this tomatoe stewing process as needed, except at the end. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover. It was at this point I felt there wasn’t enough sauce to layer with the veges so I squirted in about a tablespoon of ketchup..bryces favorite…then I Poured the juice from the the skillet over the tomatoes a few times.while raising the heat to boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated. I tried to keep the tomato slices intact so I could layer them too in the casserole
Step 5: Put a third of the tomatoes mixture in the bottom of a casserole. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the three fresh herbs. Then a layer of the eggplant, then one of squash. Then the second third of tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the fresh herbs. Put the remaining eggplant and squash, then the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the fresh herbs. Toward the end I added more ketchup to stretch my sauce a needed it doesn’t need to be too saucy as the sauces from the squash will mix in also.
Step 6: Cover with foil or lid and put in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, pour the juice over the vegetables and let cool. if you want you can put it in the fridge now and serve later (either microwave w/parm or do the following)
. Or you can uncover and cook for another 10 -15 minutes with fresh shredded parmesan cheese on top
Serve with croissants to dip in the juice and a nice strong red wine!
Bon appetit!
Gulliver's Creamed Corn (Karen’s version)
2 (20-ounce) packages frozen corn
1 cup (8 ounces) whipping cream
1 cup (8 ounces) Half and Half
1 teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons sugar
Large Pinch of Nutmeg
Large Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (more or less)
1. Combine all ingredients, except butter and flour, in a pot and bring to a boil, stir and Simmer 5 minutes.
2. Blend butter with flour to make a paste like pancake batter and add to the corn, mix well and remove from heat.
Serves 8.
Variation: Put finished corn in heat proof casserole, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place under a broiler until evenly browned.