Ratatouille – not just a movie

So here’s my approach to Ratatouille : it works for me!Starts by chopping onion:

Slice off the top and bottom of the onion, the bottom (root side) has the two circular shapes.

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Slice across the side of the onion, and peel away the skin

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Now stand on end and slice in half (this is the root end, or bottom of the onion)

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Now stand with the root end down on the cutting board; the tight knots on the root end will hold the onion together for the next steps. Starting at the cut side slice most of the way into the onion

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Don’t cut all the way through!

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and keep going until almost the outer edge

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Lay it flat on the cut side, and slice in towards the root base, at right angles to the slices you just made

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Keep going at 1/4″ intervals

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Rotate and slice across the end, it should fall apart into neat chunks. Tuck your finger tips under (away from the knife edge) and slide the knife blade up and down against your knuckles (safer)

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Keep going until you get to the root, which I discard

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and repeat for the other half

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Into the pan with a little olive oil

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once it’s sweated a bit I add the garlic. Meanwhile, chop the red pepper

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once the onions are cooked to the point of translucency, tip them in a bowl. If you cook them too long they’ll brown and become sweet, and that’s a different flavor profile

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Peppers in the pan, now on a fairly high heat. You’ll need to shake the pan and toss the peppers as they cook.

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meanwhile back to the cutting board and start on prep of the zucchini. Slice off the top and bottom

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cut in half lengthwise

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and again

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now cut across the strips to make chunks

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Go check the pepper to see how it’s coming along. You’re looking for some coloring to the skin, but the texture should still be firm. Add to the bowl with onion when done:

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now for the back to the zucchini and into the pan!

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turn the heat down a little, perhaps to 3/4 setting. While that cooks, get started on eggplant by slicing top and bottom off:

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and then into slices of about 1/2″

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Slice across each and then again at 90 degrees to create chunks

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check the zucchini, you’re looking for a bit of color to indicate it’s done.

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empty the zucchini into the bowl with pepper and onion, and put the eggplant in the pan

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this will shrink and color as it cooks

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once it reaches this stage empty it too into the bowl. Open the can of tomato and dump that into the pan

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cook over quite high heat and it will bubble vigorously

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cook until its thickened and the water reduced

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test for seasoning – salt and pepper will be added now. Dump everything in and turn down the heat all the way

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heat through so everything’s warm

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And that’s pretty much it!

 

 

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