Biting Down On Greatness!
If you don’t know what this is, welcome to the delicious French world of a “Ratatouille” – and I assume you’ve heard of that film, where this recipe came from!
Time for the next installment of the delicious “Dinner And A Movie!”
Looks great, doesn’t it? Ratatouille is a traditional baked french dish. Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence.
If you’d like to make this “dinner and a movie”, then I’d like to introduce you to the TWO Chefs responsible:
First, Meet Remy!
It’s not often that your favorite Chef is a rat, but how can you argue when it’s Remy!
Remy is one of the greatest undiscovered chefs in Paris. And he’s a rat. Don’t hold that against him, because his love for food transcends his background. You have to give credit to Pixar for not only making a film about a rat, but for the amazing amount of attention to detail in the film as it relates to food.
“Ratatouille” is a funny, warm and delicious-looking film, with a lot of real cooking advice in it – thanks in no small part to our second Chef:
Chef Thomas Keller!
The terrific film-making team at Pixar wanted to accurately capture life inside a kitchen, so they reached out to America’s most celebrated Chef!
Chef Thomas Killer And The French Laundry!
Yes, we took a picture with Chef in his celebrated kitchen – the world famous “The French Laundry”, but we weren’t the only ones!
The animation team for “Ratatouille” worked alongside Chef Thomas Keller at his acclaimed restaurant in Yountville California in order to learn the art of cooking. Mr. Keller also appears in a cameo role as the voice of a patron at Gusteau’s.
This is a funny, touching animated movie that celebrates our love for food…so make yourself the Ratatouille recipe from the movie and pop it into the blu-ray!
Chef Keller’s Confit Byaldi
The recipe for Thomas Keller’s Confit Byaldi, the accordion-fanned version of ratatouille used in the movie is available on the French Laundry website, but buy the gorgeous cookbook as well…my friend Michael Ruhlman co-wrote it with him!
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
Salt and pepper
Let’s get going!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping and alternating vegetables.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside the dish.
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but still a bit firm. You should see the tomato sauce bubbling around them.
You can serve with soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread…
So there you have it, another in my series of “Dinners and a movie”…did you see my story on this amazing meal?
Yes, that’s a “Timpano” – pasta pie – that Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci are amazed by, and I’m going to make one myself before we rewatch the terrific film “Big Night” – see the recipe here:
And staying Italian, we head to prison where Actor Paul Sorvino shows us how to shave garlic very very thin…
This is known as “Goodfellas Garlic”, and click here to see why:
Enjoy some Ratatouille tonight!
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