Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trying new things.


Wee Jozie hoping for goodies at dinner - we do not condone this behaviour. 

Just posting a quick note to tell you about the recipes that I have tried today - and yesterday.

Ratatouille. <pronounced: RaTaTwoWee>
I have never had this before and until this past week when I heard someone talk about it on a cooking show - I thought that Ratatouille was only a movie. I just checked online tonight to find the definition of this dish and this is a summary:

A traditional, French Provencal dish. Often served as a side dish but can be served on it's own. There are many different ways that it can be cooked - check here on Wikipedia for ideas. 

The show I was watching, all I heard the woman say was that she learned how to make the recipe from her Mother-in-law who was from Nice. Her method was using EZPOT. Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes. So with this in hand, I thought that I would give it a try.

Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onion and Tomatoes

C. Mitchell's version of Ratatouille 
5 cups of eggplant - chopped in to small(ish) cubes
2 cups of zucchini - chopped in to small(ish) cubes
3 large peppers - cut into thin strips and then halved
2 onions - thinly sliced
4-5 cups of tomatoes - (about 14 small tomatoes - campino are nice) - skinned*
4-5 cloves of garlic

In a large pot, drizzle olive oil. Over medium heat, add the eggplant. Cook for about 8 minutes, you will see the eggplant starting to soften. Add a couple of pinches of kosher salt. I added a bit more olive oil after a couple of minutes as the eggplant absorbed the olive oil.
Add zucchini. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often.  Cook for about another 7 minutes.
Add peppers. Drizzle another bit of olive oil. Cook with the lid on for another 7-8 minutes.
Add onions and garlic. Continue to cook with the lid on - and add a couple small pinches of kosher salt and some cracked pepper.
Add tomatoes - remove lid and continue to cook for about another 8 minutes. Reduce heat and then let simmer. 
Serve in a shallow bowl on it's own.

*Skinned tomatoes: Cut a little X at the top of each tomatoes. Add to boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water, let cool and gently peel the skin from the tomatoes.

I served it with Italian Turkey sausage that we did on the grill. 

I really loved the dish. I found that all the flavours melded together wonderfully and the it was easy to pick out the different flavours of all of the different vegetables. The sweetness of the onions really popped for me. Chris... didn't love the dish. He gave this dish a 2. 

For dessert I tried a new blueberry popsicle. I got the idea from a cold Strawberry soup recipe that I saw online. I tried making the soup with blueberries and then froze it. 

Blueberry Soup Popsicles
2 cups of blueberries
1 1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp corn starch

In a food processor, blend the blueberries. I actually just used my hand blender, much easier and less cleaning.  The puree doesn't have to be pure liquid - it can have some chunks of berries. Pour the blueberry puree - into a pot - add sugar and water - mix and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes until it gently boils. Skim any foam that forms off of the top. In a small bowl add 2 tbsp of corn starch to tbsp of fresh squeezed orange juice - whisk together. Add to berries and continue to heat over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat and let sit until it cools off - and add to popsicle moulds. The blueberry soup turns into purple satin - it's gorgeous. I haven't tried them, but I think that they are going to be delicious.

Last night's dinner was roasted chicken with rosemary and garlic. It's an easy dish, that I will definitely make again.

Roasted Rosemary Chicken

2 chicken breasts - bone in 
2 tbsp fresh rosemary - chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of soften butter

Mix rosemary, garlic and butter together. Gently lift the skin on the chicken and with your fingers, spread the butter mixture over the breast, under the skin evenly. Give the chicken breasts a small pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Grill on a medium heated bbq for about 20 minutes, cooking the bone side down.

Let it rest for about 5 minutes and serve. The chicken is so moist and the rosemary flavour is divine. 

So, those are some recipes that I did up this weekend. I feel pretty rested after this weekend - so happy to start the week off feeling that I had a break. 

Monday be good to us - we can only handle what we can handle. Be kind.

Enjoy.

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