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Recipe File: Ratatouille
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Joyce
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Ratatioully Reply with quote

Re: your excellent discussion about the addition of salt and sugar to this dish. . . .

It is exactly that combination (of salt and sugar) we use in seasoning salmon to make 'locks'. Putting this combination on raw salmon pulls all the moisture out of it. Here in Denmark, Locks/Lax are called 'gravid lax.' In the old days, when there were no refrigerators, Danes would salt and sugar their fresh-caught salmon, put a weight on it, and bury it for several days. ('Gravid' = Grave in Danish.)
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vppeterson
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: ratatouille Reply with quote

For those who want no fat at all in their diet, simmer all in chicken broth. Just before serving, add a couple of stalks of celery slithered into 1/16" slices - lovely crunch. Coarsely grated Swiss cheese over top is an added bonus.
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sakura
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an admitted foodie and chef for a living, I loved the step by step process with photos for this recipe. I'm told this is a peasant dish where they would just throw together whatever they had available or in season, which is relatively vague. Having never made (or tried) ratatouille, and having found out that I have to make it today, this was the best way to catch a glimpse of how its supposed to turn out. Great recipe!!
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juls
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject: Ratatouille Reply with quote

I love this whole website...and this dish was awesome.
I have made Ratatouille before but not with mushrooms.
I didn't put mushrooms in and I substituted Iltalian Seasoning for
the herbs....Delicious!
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Binge Frenefits
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Ratatouille and eggplants Reply with quote

About eggplants and salt:

In general, the long, narrow kinds of eggplants found all over Asia have no bitterness and need no salting. The large, bulbous kind generally need to be sliced, salted, and pressed to remove brown, bitter juices before rinsing and using them.
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Psychepirate
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: The Eggplant Reply with quote

Hi! I'm planning on making this soon and I'm a little confused about the eggplant, I've never worked/cooked with it before. I've been told I'm supposed to drain the liquid/salt/strain, I've read a lot of the comments on here as well, but in the recipe you say that the eggplant will release a lot of liquid and the other veggie's will simmer in them for a great flavor. Do you recommend draining/straining/salting the eggplant before cooking this dish?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: The Eggplant Reply with quote

Psychepirate wrote:
Hi! I'm planning on making this soon and I'm a little confused about the eggplant, I've never worked/cooked with it before. I've been told I'm supposed to drain the liquid/salt/strain, I've read a lot of the comments on here as well, but in the recipe you say that the eggplant will release a lot of liquid and the other veggie's will simmer in them for a great flavor. Do you recommend draining/straining/salting the eggplant before cooking this dish?

I do not salt/drain my eggplant. When selecting globe eggplants, pick heavy eggplants with firm skin. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've never bought a bitter one... I have had bitter eggplant at other people's houses and at restaurants and my only guess is that older eggplant may develop a bitterness that needs to be dealt with. The problem is that the bitter eggplant that I've had have all been salted, etc. so I'm currently of the opinion that it's just best to buy fresh eggplant and dispense with the whole salting operation. I've not yet done experiments on this though.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eggplant, cucumbers and okra all benefit from picking and eating the young / small size. bigger is not better for these critters.

two things on the bitterness associated with eggplant - first, modern varieties have much less tendency to get bitter, and second - it's an age thing. younger, smaller, not hollow sounding to a thump are my guidelines - with salting/draining not required.

the salting/draining is actually not some 'old wives tale' - in my grandmother's younger days, it was true and required. she lived to 95 and was heavy duty into gardening and cooking. the eggplant has improved <g>
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Ratatouille Reply with quote

While living in Germany, I visited a neighbor just before dinner and smelled heavenly aromas from her kitchen. That was my initial introduction in 1977. Renate did not use green peppers, however, but did add basil, oregano, and thyme. She served it over couscous and sprinkled the dish with either fresh grated Emmentaler Swiss or Parmesan cheese. I've never done the eggplant/salt prep as I've never had a bitter eggplant. I don't use mushrooms either. I think it is best if made the day before you plan to serve it. I combine it with a green salad on the side and voila! a healthy, hearty, and totally satisfying meal with great leftovers. Tonight, I'm trying it with a splash of red wine as one of the contributors suggested. Tomorrow, it will be perfect!
PS For years, I spelled it phonetically: "RAHTAHTOOWEE" While in France, I discovered how it was supposed to be spelled. Thanks to you and to Disney for bringing this wonderful experience to all of us Paisants.
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Amanda
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it at all possible to use frozen green peppers instead of fresh? I have 5 large frozen peppers and would love to find a use for them. Thanks!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>frozen peppers

absolutely.

I garden and often have a big surplus of green bell peppers. wash slice dice freeze on a flat cookie sheet on in a thin layer. once frozen, bag'em for storage.

although I'm not a "hot pepper freak" I've found banana peppers nicely warm - do the same with them except just sliced vs diced.....

do not just slice and/or dice and put in a bag for freezing - it takes longer to freeze, they get soft(er) and you have just a single frozen mass. freezing in a thin layer lets you break up the chunks so you don't have to use the whole bag in one go.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Great! Reply with quote

Another Engineer here - did great with this recipe!! Went with red wine, no stock, no mushrooms, added half can canned corn, extra heavy on garlic and onions.

FANTASTIC!!! YUMMmmmm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:25 am    Post subject: Ratatouille - yum! Reply with quote

This dish is the best use of the summer vegetables! I don't use mushrooms either, prefer to stay with the classic ingredients of zucchini, eggplant, sweet peppers, onions & garlic. Use the best quality olive oil (extra-virgin) and Japanese eggplants (they are not bitter). I generally make this a day ahead, refrigerate, and reheat the next day for best flavor. Heat the olive oil in a sturdy pot and add ingredients as you chop them. I tend to add in this order: onions, garlic, eggplant (more olive oil), peppers, zucchini & tomatoes. Add as much oil as you need to prevent sticking. Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, marjoram & thyme) and salt complete the dish. Steaming bowlfuls of this with chunks of sourdough bread are all you need.
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LJB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over brown rice.
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Guest
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great recipe. I added a jalapeno and a couple of chile peppers to add some zest. I also skipped the tomato paste since I didn't have any. It didn't seem to be a problem.
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