NYC: A Ratatouille Afternoon

Saturday, September 10, 2011 6comments No tags Permalink 0

Hello! How is your weekend going? I spent yesterday in Philly for the World Tea Expo (many thanks for the food recommendations!), taking the morning bus, and arriving back in NYC just before midnight. Tired. But not sleepy. Pierre was out so I put on jazz, lighted Tocca candles and snuggled in for a night with Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris – so cheesy, so fun. Solo evenings are blissful and much needed every now and then.

I didn’t wake up till noon today, and with no intention of leaving the apartment, I cooked. Ever since Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe (in 2007!) I’ve been meaning to make ratatouille. My “to-do” cooking list is long, but I’m working on it, slow and steady. All the bright colors of green, yellow, purple, and red are just so cheerful. And how could you not love a version finished in a flurry of fresh goat cheese melting over the top?

A few things went wrong in execution. No mandoline coupled with no patience makes for uneven slices. The casserole dish was small, so instead of vegetables layered nicely in concentric circles, they were pressed tight against one another, in a manner that could only be described as chaotic. We won’t get into details about the red bell pepper, but those short slices were meant to be whole, round cuts. And when I realized there were just so many imperfections, I thought, what the hell, let’s just smash it all together.

It might not be pretty, but it sure is genuine. There’s a layer of tomato paste, sliced garlic and onions, salt and pepper, and olive oil smeared across the bottom of the dish, and the final result was delicious. We called it a success, and devoured the entire dish with fried eggs, sunny side up and crisp edges. A bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to accompany. The only thing missing was a fresh baguette. Lesson learned for next time!

  • Mary
    September 11, 2011

    The dish has great color and flavor. I see no problem with its appearance. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took a bit of extra time to browse through some of your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a great spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I love the food and recipes you share and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • K and S
    September 11, 2011

    ratatouille looks great, and I enjoyed reading that book!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    September 11, 2011

    Hi Mary! Thank you a million for visiting – and for all the kind words, I appreciate it :) Hope you have a great weekend as well!Thanks Kat! Some of the recipes from that book sound really good, especially the more warming dishes/stewed/braised meats. Going to definitely try a few!

  • gluttonandstudent
    September 12, 2011

    This looks fantastic! I love the mix of the colors. Like many, I was inspired enjoy the comfort of the French dish from its namesake movie. I love putting it in a crepe.

  • Tracy
    September 12, 2011

    I think the ratatouille also looked good; I thought it was clever how you made the slices stand up. That, or maybe you have excellent photographing skills. :)

  • Kathy YL Chan
    September 13, 2011

    Hi Noya! Putting it in a crepe is a good idea – never thought of that! (Though I just asked Pierre and apparently that do that a lot in France!) Will be sure to try it that way next time :) Hi Tracy! Heheh, thanks!! No room to keep them layered over each other flat, so standing was the only option! ^_^

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