We've seen the movie "Ratatouille" several dozen times in the past few months, so we thought it would be fun to cook this "peasant dish" to give it a taste. What better way for me to get in touch with my domestic side. I've been struggling with the cooking lately, mostly the planning that goes into cooking meals for your family, and this was probably more like the best way to make me run screaming from my new little kitchen. Big R was so excited about this meal that he took the time to find the perfect recipe. Of course, he didn't read it other than to glance at the amazing ingredients. When I opened the email from him, I gulped...seriously?! I tried putting it off, but the only thing I dislike more than a complicated recipe are letting amazing vegetables go to waste. Ok, we'll give it a try...
Luckily, little r was quiet as a mouse watching one of his movies while I slaved away in the kitchen. When Big R got home, he had to get some photographic evidence of my new creation. Mostly I think he was finding it amusing to see me peal the skins off a newly roasted red pepper. Have you ever done that?! If you haven't, let me give you a slight tip - don't skimp on the roasting time. The skins peal much easier if you let them cook longer (a tip I'll be sure to remember if I ever attempt this madness again).
Three peeled red peppers later, and the piperade (whatever the heck that is!) was finished and placed along the bottom of the pan.
Then the freshly cut veggies were placed in a spiral fashion on top of the piperade (Big R and I had to read the recipe about half a dozen times to figure out exactly how to do the proper spiral, this is where pictures are super helpful and we had not a single one!), the pan was covered with foil, and then had to cook for 2 hours. Yes, 2 freaking hours! Then uncovered and cooked for another 30 minutes or so.
Did I mention it was 7:30 p.m. at this point?! Yeah, this is a good example of what NOT to do. In my true impatient style, I increased the temperature, and cooked it for about 45 minutes while I got little r bathed and tucked into bed. There is no reason it should take vegetables 2 hours to cook - at least not in THIS house.
I have to say, it was a pretty darn good meal. My planning wasn't exactly in high gear that day, so it never occurred to me that some fresh bread from the local bakery would have been the perfect compliment to this dish. Next time (wait, did I just write that?!). I didn't have a fancy "offset spatula" to carefully remove the dish and fan it out on the plate in a 90 degree angle (geesh!), but I did my best to keep the portion contained and then carefully added the vinaigrette sauce. This meal was delish served with our favorite local beers.
Don't call me a chef, because I'm far from one and this will NEVER be a cooking blog. If you are truly interested in the recipe, I can email it to you - it is almost as complicated to write it down as it was to follow. I might be brave and attempt this meal again knowing now what it takes and what would taste awesome with it. Maybe next time I'll actually cook it for the required time, haha, maybe...