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Recipe File: Ratatouille
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: One other question... Reply with quote

Okay, why would salting or sugaring make the flesh of the vegetable more durable? I know it does with pickles, but what is happening?
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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pzelchenko wrote:
"correct" => "corrected", right?

Hahahaha. Yep, another typo caught! I have not corrected this one. Smile
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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1276
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>but what is happening?

don't know about sugar, not done that
but salt causes "stuff" to lose moisture - salt cured meats, etc.
natrium did a pretty good job on Egyptian mummies . . .

salt reduces spoilage - as in meats by less water to aid rot & pH changes which discourages the bacterial bugs.

for stuff like cucumbers the extracted water leaves the remaining cells crisper over time.

the exact bio-<whatever> / chemical reactions are not my expertise . . .
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: Ratatuile Reply with quote

Well I am not French, but Italian and can tell you that when cooking eggplant, we always salt the pieces and let them sweat for an hour or two. Ratatuile might very well be the equivalent of our Caponata Siciliana. In our Caponata, even with all the salting, we still add a bit of sugar when frying the eggplant. Nevertheless, it's a great recipe and as long as you enjoy your version, who's to say au contrarie! Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: I m in love Reply with quote

Hi! thank you Micheal.

We are an engaged couple and Ratatouille has a special meaning for us since it is the first movie that we have gone together Wink

I think it will be our special meal during our marrige Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Ratatouille Reply with quote

It seems delicious Smile
And it sounds good to mcook this delicious meal with your love Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: ratatouille Reply with quote

I made a very similar dish (without eggplant) recently but for seasoning I used roasted red pepper and garlic (dry spice) as well as Balti (an Indian spice mixture). I served it with parmigiano reggiano. The Balti gave the dish a nice "warm" taste. It was simply delicious.
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Sugar vs. salt Reply with quote

A question was posted about the role of salt versus sugar as both a preservative and "firming up" the eggplant. The answer is that both salt and sugar have an osmotic effect on the fruit, thus "drawing water out" of the tissue and "into" the salt/sugar. Of course, movement is not one-way, so if you use salt some of it will diffuse INTO the eggplant (but more water will move out than salt moving in). The same is true of sugar. The reason salt (and sugar) have been used as preservatives historically is not really because they draw the water out of the food you are trying to preserve, but because they also draw the water out of the "bad stuff" that is also trying to eat the food before you get to it. Thus, salt prevents bacteria and fungus from growing/surviving in meats, and high sugar content prevents bacteria and fungus from growing/surviving in "preserved" fruits and veggies. Most bacteria and fungi do not survive well in high salt or high sugar environments, and because bacteria and fungi are the main agents of decomposition ("spoiling"), high levels of salt and sugar have long been used as preservatives. (Note: for the same reason, high levels of salt are not good inside our body... it tends to pull water out of our cells, so our body responds by retaining more water in order to "dilute" the salt, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, kidney problems, etc. High sugar can cause similar problems, but the main negative effect relates to insulin regulation problems)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: RATATOUILLE VARIATION Reply with quote

This is a wonderful recipe. I have made this frequently, with a few variations.
If you don't like mushrooms, substitute with three pieces of crispy bacon crumbled.
Add several 1/4 cup of merlot about 5 minutes before you finish cooking and top each serving lightly with fresh parmesan -asiago mix cheese.

Or, substitute mushrooms with three pieces of crispy bacon crumbled.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

God bless you and your cooking Mike!

This is a wonderful recipe! There is a traditional dish in Bulgaria that is very similar, except that there are no mushrooms and the peppers are baked as somebody suggested. Nevertheless I am trying yours and I am delighted!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:47 am    Post subject: Made it my own Reply with quote

I loved your recipe, but to make it a little heartier, I added carrots and paired it with a cornbread muffin.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This recipe is good. In order to make it awesome, the changes I would suggest are:
1. Sautee half the eggpalnt in olive oil by itself, and add with the tomatoes. (allows for some identifiable - and VERY tasty eggplant)
2. Use white wine instead of the broth
3. Serve with shaved parmesian and crusty french bread
Bon Appetit!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: yummy! Reply with quote

I just cooked your recipe, more or less as you suggested, and it was divine. My kids ate it! I guess one contributing factor to its outstanding awesomeness would be that everything came from my garden. It's the first year I've grown everything myself and I highly recommend it. Thanks for a delicious recipe that gets the good stuff down the kids' necks.
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sophie-paulette artista00

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: ratatouille Reply with quote

ratatouille is a healthy dish, simple and rich in flavor. it will look much better or pleasent to your eyes if you bake it. It is important 2 present the food on a dish . make as the Remi did it. Do not mix and stir. make an ar work with it.
No musrooms, no broth(yikes salt/sodium who needs that?). is a very inexpensive and nutritious dish and Is French of course!
send me an e-mail and i explain 2 you how to make it look like a very expensive dish. then add the expensive wine. Big smile
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: What about Presentation? Reply with quote

What I want to know is how we can alter this great recipe so we can present this dish just as it was in the movie--as a stunning, architectural centerpiece on the plate. All ratatouilles I've had or seen are so stewish, which is fine most of the time, but for a special occasion, I want a bit of Voila. Any ideas?
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