Well, I probably shouldn't do this, but I've started another Blog. Like I don't already spend too much time at the MacBook. As some of you might have guessed, I like to cook and I love to eat. So I thought I'd share my recipes, humble as they may be and an occasional dinner menu at our house. I am somewhat "reluctant" to share this project right now, but caution to the wind. The plan is to be discovered by the Food Network for my cooking show Cranky Franky's in the Kitchen.
Am I ready for critics? Probably not. I know my instructions are not always clear or precise. Let me know if something doesn't make sense. Anyhow, if you're interested, check out "Dinner's Ready"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ratatouille - From Garden to Table

This is the season for garden vegetables in New England. In the micro-climate that is our backyard, on the north side of Fall Mountain and about 700 feet above sea level means that our garden is about two to three weeks late in producing ripe veggies. But now the tomatoes are at their peak and the eggplant and zucchini and peppers have been coming strong for about three weeks now.

I've done ratatouille here before but here are some photos of my last batch:

Dice up the veggies: you can use a combination of yellow and green squash and more or fewer green peppers and hot peppers. Use what your garden gives you. Mushrooms are a nice addition, but I didn't have any on hand this day.
Eggplant, zucchini, green pepper,
hot pepper, onion, garlic,tomatoes,
parsley, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil
This was an extra large batch so I sauteed the garlic, onion and pepper first in about 1/4 cup of olive oil, then added only the eggplant.

Eggplant will soak up the oil like a sponge. But let it cook over high heat until it gets a bit tender,

I removed the eggplant, onion and peppers and added a little more oil to the skillet to make room for the squash

Then I added the zucchini, the tomatoes, the salt, parsley, basil and cooked everthing over high heat until the zucchini began to soften and the tomatoes cooked down some.

The tomatoes and zucchini release a lot of liquid. I wanted my ratatouille to be less soupy so I removed the veggies after they were cooked and let the tomato sauce cook down.

Then I returned the eggplant, pepper and onion to the skillet first because that had the flavors of onion and garlic that I wanted to impart to the sauce

And then the zucchini

And let the whole thing cook a bit more.

Served alone with crusty bread and some Italian sausages or serve over pasta without meat for a great vegetarian dish; I'd like to try it with a can of beans mixed in instead of sausage as we are trying to eat less animal protein in our overall diet.

My ratatouille is a bit chunky and not over cooked, you may like yours more cooked and with less of a bite.

I had enough to freeze a portion for another meal - probably a quick meal for when we are in our RV at PTown and have spent a day at the beach.