Monday, April 4, 2011

4-4-2011 Rat-tat-too-ee, Ratatouille!

For dinner tonight I made Roasted Ratatouille Pizza (Cheeseless), Grilled Lemon Honey Chicken Paillards, and a Salad.

I got the idea to make ratatouille last week, when I watched the movie with my sons. I was explaining to them what the dish was, and I wanted them to try it. They usually are really good adventurous eaters, but tonight they knocked all the ratatouille off the pizza and just ate the crust.

When I took the course, Basic Food Prep in culinary school, the way we were tested, was by cooking a dish for the Chef to taste and then critique. The first exam we ever had, was to prepare ratatouille. It may seem simple, but in reality, ratatouille is a complicated dish. All the vegetables must be cut precisely uniform, and cooked in orchestrated steps, so each component is perfectly cooked.

The Roasted Ratatouille I made tonight was nothing like the one described above. The vegetables weren't precisely cut or cooked in any way. I did take it one creative step further by making it into a pizza. The options are endless because you can make it into pizza with or without cheese, serve it alone as a side dish, or sprinkle it with cheese and make it a vegetarian main course.
The Grilled Lemon Honey Paillards were easy to make, but I felt the results were not spectacular. I only want to give you great recipes so, I am going to pass on sharing that one.

I quickly threw together a salad with whatever I had on hand. It helped round out the meal, although it was not a highlight.

Here are pics and recipes:


Roasted Ratatouille Pizza

1 Recipe Pizza dough, see recipe below, or use store bought frozen pizza dough
1 Recipe Roasted Ratatouille, recipe below
3 T. from a jar of marinara (I used Newman's Own)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Roll pizza dough out as thin as possible without making holes. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal. Place the stretched pizza dough ontop.
Spread the marinara sauce onto dough. Spread the roasted ratatouille ontop of the marinara sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.

Roasted Ratatouille
This recipe is originally from the magazine Cuisine at Home, I altered it a bit.

1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 small eggplant, peeled, and diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 C. cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 t. fresh chopped thyme, or 1/4 t. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl place the squash, zucchini, eggplant, and red onion. Drizzle on 2 T. olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the vegetables on 3/4 of the baking sheet.
In a small bowl mix together the cherry tomatoes, garlic, 1 T. olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes on the remaining 1/4 of the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the eggplant is tender.
Remove from oven.
Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Next, add the rest of the vegetables and the thyme and mix all together.

Pizza Dough- bread machine
adapted from the cookbook The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever

2/3 C. water
3 T. olive oil
3 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 C. bread flour
1 1/4 t. active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the bread machine bowl in the order listed above. Turn machine on dough cycle. Remove dough when the dough cycle finishes, and shape to your desire.

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