Friday, August 03, 2007

Ratatouille Part 2

Anticipating that it would pique people's curiosity I made some ratatouille & put it on last Sunday's Dine&Jam menu

In the film Ratatouille Remy prepares the humble peasant dish in a special way: whereas traditional ratatouille is a stew, Remy layers and bakes sliced vegetables & finishes it with a sauce. I decided it would be fun to prepare it that way too, and so I did a bit of research. It turns out celebrity chef Thomas Keller had created the recipe especially for the film, and that he called it Confit Biyaldi. His recipe is no secret, and you can find it here.

Being me I couldn't resist tweaking it: I gave the piperade a bit more kick, and opened up the flavor profile a bit with some secret herbs (ok, ok, I used Herbes de Proven├že!) I found the cooking time a bit excessive; in just about half an hour I had the vegetables nice and tender. I put everything in the ref overnight for the flavor to bloom, and caramelized a bit under the broiler at serving time. (ratatouille is traditionally served either at room temp or just warm). I stuck with the name ratatouille to reference the film, and for fun I served it with linguine. No, I didn't serve it with alfredo sauce (would've been terrible with the vinaigrette, I think!)

For this recipe fresh herbs are key, and fresh vegetables. Speed is key, too because eggplant oxidizes fast. When Remy was slicing up the vegetables the slices fell neatly into his baking dish. My vegetables weren't cartoons so they didn't cooperate like that. I showed my sister Sarah how to arrange the slices in the dish, and then we proceeded with me slicing, and she arranging. Had her try slicing but I think she found my chef's knife a little overwhelming hehe. The dish turned out well, I think, and it was generally well received by the Diner-Jammers. Too bad the photo didn't turn out well. Just now I saw a spot on TV about how Cibo is now serving ratatouille...hmp! ;-)

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