Classics, Comfort food, French

Ratatouille

A bowl of stew full of fresh summer veggies ! There really is nothing more to say about this recipe.  I guess if you make your kids watch the cartoon “Ratatouille” and serve them this stew–you might just be able to make them eat their veggies !

Ratatouille adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle, and Julia Child.

Ingredients:

½ lb. eggplant

½ lb. zucchini and yellow squash

4 Tb. olive oil, more if needed

½ lb. (about 1 ½ cups) thinly sliced yellow onions

2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers (I used red peppers–just because I had them in the fridge)

2 cloves mashed garlic

1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes

3 Tb. minced parsley Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Chop the eggplant and salt it and let it stand for a 20-30 minutes till all the water drains out.

Meanwhile chop the rest of the vegetables.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and fry the eggplant till soft, and set it aside.

Next heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and saute the squash and the zucchini till tender.

Next, heat the remaining oil and add the garlic, tomatoes, pepper and onions and saute till soft.

Now add back the other vegetables and let them stew together for about 30 mins till all the vegetables fall apart and marry into the stew.

Towards the very end, adjust salt and pepper and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Serve hot or warm or even at room temperature.  I sometimes add a fried egg on top to add some protein to my meal and make it a little more filling.

I am a huge fan of this recipe and I truly advocate in its power of converting vegetables haters to lovers.  Please try this and I encourage in using fresh vegetables since all the flavor comes from them.  Try it this French classic this weekend !

Classics, Italian

Eggplant Cutlets

A baked version of an Italian classic.  I love making this when I am craving something salty and crunchy and greasy–but the best part about these cutlets are they are vegetarian and healthy.  Pairs perfectly with a bowl of tomato soup.  Ofcourse you could turn it into eggplant parm or even stack it up on a sandwich.  I like it as is with a side of spicy marinara dipping sauce !

Ingredients:

Eggplant cut into rounds, salted and set aside so that the water can drain out

1 or 2 eggs depending on how many cutlets you want to make

1/4-1/2 cup flour

1 cup of italian style breadcrumbs

Methods:

This is as easy as it gets !!!

Once the water has drained out from the eggplant, pat it dry.

Create a breading station, starting with flour, egg, and ending with breadcrumbs.

Note:  I like to season the flour with a good amount of salt and pepper and the eggs with red pepper flakes.

Dip eggplant in flour, shake off excess flour and then dip in egg and them in breadcrumbs.

Once all the cutlets are made you could either freeze them for later use (which I frequently do since fresh eggplant will go bad quickly)

If you are making them immediately, preheat oven to 400F and spray both sides of the cutlets with some cooking spray and bake for 20-25 mins till golden brown and crunchy !

Serve hot !