Wednesday, February 9, 2011

She-Ra's "Ratatouille" ratatouille

How to make She-Ra's famous ratatouille.

We love movies that involve cooking. Why? First off, because we're dorks and second, we love movies and cooking. The combination of the two? Well, sometimes it works out, like the Queen Latifah remake of “Last Holiday”, or it doesn't, such as watching Catherine Zeta-Jones try to act like a pernicious perfectionist chef in “No Reservations”, which is also the title of Anthony Bourdain's TV show and, he too, hated that movie.

But one film that stands out to combine everything we love about movies that involve cooking is Ratatouille. It's funny, it's cute, it kinda shows how a real French bistro might operate and Patton Oswalt does the voice of Remy. So...there you go.

Now, if you've seen it, you know that Remy helps out a bumbling would-be chef by hiding out in his hat and telling him what to use and how to use it. One dish, the one that sends the snobbish curmudgeonly food critic to accept the fact that a rat made his food and save the failing restaurant was, yep, ratatouille.

Sorry about the no sound thing. It's the only clip I could find.

Welp, after we saw that movie and fell in love with it, She-Ra came home and started to do a bit of research. That night she basically whipped up Remy's ratatouille and I'm here now to tell you how she does it.

Trust me, it's amazing.

OK. Here's what you're going to need:

5 cloves of garlic, minced

I cup Pomi tomato puree

I small vidallia yellow onion

1 small eggplant, the Italian version if you can get one

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 orange pepper

Thyme, dried, about a ¼ teaspoon

Some salt and pepper

Soft goat cheese (for serving)

Pre-heat the oven at 350.

If you have a mandoline that's awesome, if not a sharp knife will do. Cut the eggplant into about 1/16 inch slices, removing the tips first, and place the slices on paper towels then sprinkle them with a bit of salt. This is known as “sweating” your eggplant which removes some of the moisture and bitterness. Then cut the zucchini, squash and pepper (trimmed and de-cored) in the same uniform fashion and set aside.

Finely chop up the onion and mince up the garlic. Pour the Pomi (or whichever kind of tomato puree you prefer) into a casserole dish then add the garlic, onion, thyme and salt and pepper.

Now, here's where it gets fun. Arrange the slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables; sorta like zucchini first, then the squash, then the pepper, etc etc. Once everyone is in place (and yes, you may have some leftover...just thrown that in your next pasta dish or salad!) add a tad more salt and pepper and cover the dish with either wax or parchment paper.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Basically you want the vegetables to release their liquid and are still firm but not brown. Not to mention, that tomato sauce should be bubbling up around everybody.

The result should look like this:

Plate that sucker up and serve with good crusty bread, perhaps a yummy salad and top the ratatouille with the goat cheese. Holy merde!, is this good stuff. 


Well, there you go. Simple, fun, delicious and above all kinda healthy. Some recipes involve olive oil but...nah. You really don't need it. You want the pure vegetable flavor to stand out on it's own.

Good luck and make Remy proud!

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