Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ratatouille... yes, the one from the movie, Remy's dish!!

If you like me love all things related to the cooking world, then you must have seen the movie Ratatouille!!
I went to watch it soon as it appeared in the movie theater around here and couldn't have liked it more! Matheus and I liked it so much that we watched it a second time with my Mom, Sister, and Brother in Law when they were here visiting us.
The movie is fun and gives a great message about how we should follow our dream - if you truly believe in yourself you can get where you want - at the same time making us think of how we sometimes might judge people on the appearance instead of looking deep into how they are truly able to perform (Although I am not sure I would still eat the food after seeing the massive amount of rodents present in that kitchen, being them good cook or not!!)
Anyway, this post is here not to make a movie review, but to share the recipe that actually inspired the movie writers who gave life to Remy (which to me still is the creator of the dish! hehehe!)
Ratatouille is, as described in the movie, considered as "pheasant" food, meaning it is a very simple dish that uses up the extra vegetables that the farmers used to have during their harvest. It is basically a stew, a mix of yummy vegetables and herbs that creates its own sauce and deliciousness as it cooks.
No need to embellish such good food, right? Yes, but it is clear that the movie producers found a way to make it look just as good as it taste!
The dish in question is actually not even a "Ratatouille" per say, after being made the way it was, in reality it is a Confit Byaldi, created by the chef Thomas Keller. (The arrangement of sliced vegetables is what maked this particular dish a "Byaldi")
Well, whatever the name, and whoever created this.... it is Delicious!!!
Simply fabulous, full of flavors and definitely better than I can ever describe it here.
We loved the dish and polished of the whole thing among the three of us (ahem... I did have a couple extra helpings of what is considered polite to eat, but lets not get into the details, shall we?!!!!).
It is a little time consuming I have to say, as you need to do a bit of slicing and dicing to get all ingredients ready, plus there is the piperade that might be made first. But don't let the process scare you of making this, because it is truly a great dish! (some planning in advance and you will enjoy your time in the kitchen making this... or at least I did!)
The piperade is very good, and the vinaigrette... oh my, that was delicious all by itself, and I will certainly double this part next time I make it as I found the amount of the vinaigrette to be too little compared to the rest of the dish.
I did shop for my produce at the farmer's market and tried to find all vegetables of the same diameter in order to make the dish look pretty. It was worth it, but not completely necessary, as the flavors are definitely way better than it might look.
Well, after a huge post I leave here the recipe for those who would like to try. And if you are a fan of vegetables and simple but delicious food... then I am sure you will love this just as much as we did!!

Thomas Keller's Ratatouille
Serves 4

For piperade:

1/2 red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 yellow pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 orange pepper, seeds and ribs removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 tomatoes (about 12 ounces total weight), peeled, seeded and finely diced, juices reserved
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
1/2 bay leaf
Kosher salt

For vegetables:

1 zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch rounds
1 Japanese eggplant, (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Assorted fresh herbs (thyme flowers, chervil, thyme)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make piperade:

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.

Combine oil, garlic and onion in medium skillet and cook over low heat on stovetop until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes, do not brown; add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt and discard herbs. Reserve 1 tablespoon of mixture and spread remainder in bottom of an 8-inch ovenproof skillet.

To prepare vegetables:

Heat oven to 275 degrees. In center of skillet arrange 8 alternating slices of vegetables, 2 each of zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes, over piperade, overlapping in a circle so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Continue alternating and overlapping vegetables in close spiral that lets slices mound slightly in center. Repeat until pan is filled; all vegetables may not be needed.

Mix garlic, oil and thyme leaves in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables. Cover skillet with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.) If there is excess liquid in pan, place over medium heat on stove until reduced. (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. If desired, reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.)

To make vinaigrette:

Combine reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

To serve:

Heat broiler and place byaldi underneath until lightly browned. Cut in quarters and very carefully lift one quarter onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding byaldi into fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate.

And here goes a few pictures I took along the process...

Piperade in the bottom of the dish

Veggies arranged on dish, right before going into the oven...

And after it came out.


Karen said...

Está tão bonito! Preciso experimentar!

Cláudia said...

Ana, eu amei o desenho também e antes até fiz o prato tradicional, que para nós pode ser chique, mas para os antigos franceses era um prato simples, camponês, onde se pegavam os legumes da colheita. No filme, como qualquer bom chef, Remy reinventa o ratatouille e mexe nas memórias culinárias, criando a emoção. Vou parar por aqui para os que não assistiram ainda, não perderem!
Bem eu estava a procuta justamente dessa receita reinventada, as crianças adoraram e é realmente linda. Agora, Ana, todos os ratos foram esterilizados para fazer a comida, então tá tudo bem! (risos)

Cinara said...

Ana, it's exactly like the one in the movie!!!! You must have read my mind, because I was going to look for a Ratatouille recipe that was similar to the one Remy prepared, and voilá! Here it is! Thank you for posting all these beautiful pictures and sharing this yummy recipe... I'll be making it really soon! ;o) XXOO

Beatriz Belliard said...

belissima apresentaçao desta ratatouille ! bjs

Akemi said...

Ana, ficou linda a disposição dos legumes, tão colorido e apetitoso! Ai, preciso ver este filme antes que saia de cartaz!!!

Ana Cláudia Ruy Cardia said...

uau, ficou lindo!!!!! gostei mais do seu q o do remy! hahahah sem contar q o seu eh mais gostooooso!!!!!!
Beijinhos, hermana!! q bom q vc voltou a postar!!!

Valentina said...

Oh, it looks beautiful Ana. Really gorgeous. sorry for being absent. I have really struggled to manage my time these days.

Camila L said...

Ana, que colorido mais lindo dessa travessa com as rodelas ajeitadinhas! Que delícia, adoro legumes!

Ana said...

Karen, obrigada! Experimente, acho q ira gostar!

Claudia, que bom q vc tbem queria a receita! Depois me conta como ficou o seu. Ahh, agora que voce contou q os ratinhos estavam limpinhos eu fiquei mais tranquila! hehehe!!

Cinara, thanks! Let me know if you like when you make it!

Bia, obrigada!

Akemi, obrigada! Corra la assistir amiga, vc ira gostar do filme!

Aninha, oi hermana!! ficou bom viu!

Valentina, thanks! I like when you comment, I do miss you around my kitchen!

Camila, obrigada! Eh uma delicia, e colorido mesmo!


Cris said...

Ana, o colorido deste prato é a atração principal! Sem contar que deve ter ficado uma delícia! Bjs!

Iliane said...

nossa..que capricho na ornamentação..o colorido lindo..e..deve ter ficado maravilhoso...amei a receita,..bjus