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Ratatouille
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Ratatouille Reply with quote

I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet, but I thought I'd share my Ratatouille-watching experience with you, since it was both great fun and C&Z-inspired. Geek that I am, I invited a bunch of friends over to make Clothilde's delicious Ratatouille Confite Au Four before we went out and watched the movie.

It worked out brilliantly. Dinner took almost no effort: I handed out knives, cutting boards, and veggies, then went off to make garlic bread. By the time I came back, the ratatouille was ready for the oven, and we all sat around drinking wine, eating garlic bread, and enjoying each others' company while the latecomers showed up. When the ratatouille was almost done, I made pasta (wineglass in hand, with half the party crowded into my tiny kitchen). And after we ate every last lick of the ratatouille, we headed off to the movie, which was funny and gorgeous and definitely worth seeing.
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I can't claim as culinary an experience, but I really enjoyed the movie. I have a friend who's a film critic and I informed her months in advance that she's taking me to see it with her second free ticket - and I'm happy I did. Pixar must be one of the best places to work, don't you think?

SRK, can you share recipes?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ratatouille is one of the more delicious things there is. Can't remember how Clotilde served hers but I love it with some goat cheese crumbled and melting on top. Adds that sharp creamy note that makes it celestial.

Haven't seen the movie but what a creative idea for an animation!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL--to avoid confusion from now on, we should all specify whether we mean Ratatouille the dish, or Ratatouille the character, or Ratatouille the movie!

Ratatouille (the dish) has never liked me--I've tried just 3 times--the first time inspired by this C&Z thread--
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=279&highlight=ratatouille

but it is always bitter bitter. Maybe I'll stick to vegetable soup(s).
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tealady



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw Ratatouille (the movie) yesterday and loved it! V. amusing!!!

But I don't think there was a character called Ratatouille, was there? The cooking rat was named Remy...
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read many good reviews of this movie. It hasn't even opened in NZ yet and I've no idea when it will.
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Barbara
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, of course, tealady-- the rat's name is Remy, not Ratatouille--I have not seen it yet either.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Bitter" makes me think overcooked or burned garlic. Is that a possibility?

Here's a recipe that's much more involved than Clotilde's but which makes ratatouille that's more than worth the time you spend making it and washing every strainer you can find. Refrigerate the leftovers and serve cold for a lovely summer lunch.

Personally, I skip the parsley and throw in some herbes de Provence in the last 5 minutes.


Ratatouille Niçoise
Recipe By: Saveur, Sept/Oct 1998

Serving Size: 8


• 3 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 2-inch cubes
• 4 medium-sized zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 2" pieces
• kosher salt
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 6 medium-sized yellow onions, thinly sliced
• 4 medium-sized red, green or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2" strips
• 6 small tomatos, peeled, seeded and quartered
• 8 cloves garlic, minced
• 20 leaves fresh basil
• 1 bunch fresh parsley, stems trimmed off
• 8 sprigs fresh thyme
• freshly ground black pepper

Put eggplant and zucchini in 2 separate strainers and toss each with 1 tablespoon of salt. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. Blot with paper towels to dry.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 15 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to same skillet, increase heat to medium-high, add eggplant, and sauté until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer eggplant to a large heavy pot with a cover and spoon a layer of onions on top. Add 2 tablespoons oil and zucchini to skillet and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to pot and cover with a layer of onions. Add 1 tablespoon oil and peppers to skillet and sauté until edges turn brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to pot and cover with a layer of onions.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet, add tomatoes, garlic and basil, lightly crushing tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to pot, add remaining onions, parsley and thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer, partially covered, over low heat, gently stirring occasionally, for an hour and a half. Adjust seasonings, then cook about 30 minutes more.

NOTE: the easy, but distinctly less attractive approach, is to layer the vegetables in a pot with the most firm on the bottom and the tenderest on the top, then add seasonings and simmer partly covered for several hours on the lowest heat possible.
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Rainey! I tend to think the bell pepper and eggplant are the bitter culprits. When I cook garlic without browning it it gets nice and mellow. I've looked around the internet, several places do say to salt and drain the eggplant first to get rid of bitter juices, so I'll try that.

Clotilde tops hers with a poached egg!
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, you only really need to salt the eggplant if it is not entirely fresh or if it is quite large. The reason for this is that the eggplant gets more bitter as it gets older. Having said that, if you are not sure how fresh your eggplant is or if it has quite a lot of brown seeds in the middle, it's best to err on the side of caution and salt it anyway.
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srk



Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Posts: 85
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe, Clothile's super-easy recipe is at http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2005/04/ratatouille_confite_au_four.php. Rainey's recipe sounds lovely as well, but personally I'm a huge fan of the rosemary flavor (fresh is a must!) in Clothilde's, and it's a little jarring for me imagine basil instead.

This recipe always come out nice and sweet for me, with no special treatment of the garlic or eggplant, and the only change I make is to cook it at a higher temperature, 375-400, for the second step because otherwise mine never dries out enough. It's great over pasta - I know, very un-French - and I bet it would be fantastic with couscous or quinoa as well.

Just out of curiosity, how long does it take for American movies to make it over to other countries (assuming, of course, that they're worth importing in the first place)?
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Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link, srk. Was glad to see Clotilde's recipe doesn't require eggplant (I'm allergic). I have rosemary growing outside my house so obviously it wouldn't be a problem to have it fresh Smile

As for the movies, in Israel we get some movies on the same weekend (actually, the day before: movies premiere on Thursday as the weekend is Friday & Saturday) while others can take as much as two-three months. Not sure why that is.
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Srk, in answer to your query about movies, for France the delay can be none to never ! The average delay is about 2-3 months, our big release time starting in september rather than summer, although these past few years the french movie market has followed the american usage of summer release, at least for the big summer blockbusters wannabes. Don't forget we do have this strange custom of having both dubbed and subtitled versions for most foreighn movies. It takes time !

On occasions, movies have the same release date as in the US. On rare occasions we even get to see movies before our american friends, which is a rare treat indeed ! For example in 1999 Star Wars (episode 1) was released may 25th in the US, but in october in France, much to the fans' dismay (I personaly went to England in july to see it). Episode 2 was released on the same may 17th date both in the US and in France in 2002, and the final chapter came on french screens one day early in France, may 18th, in 2005.

For this year, we will have the 5th Harry Potter tomorrow (movies are traditionaly released on wednesday) and the 4th Die hard movie came out last week.
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mandysu



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Haven't seen the movie yet, but... Reply with quote

I just made Clotilde's ratatouille over the weekend, and absolutely adore the leftovers (particularly delightful for the summer heat this week). I'll have to try increasing the temp next time, though, because I've made it 3x, and it's always a bit too wet (I think my apartment oven is a bit anemic). I enjoy it with a few black olives, parmesan, or feta (or the recommended poached egg). I either use baguette to mop up the juices, or bulgur to mix and absorb them (may not be "authentic", but it is really really good! It also requires no additional cooking to rehydrate the bulgur, which is fantastic when the weather's hot).

I hope to see the movie soon (if not, it's in my Netflix queue!). It sounds cute.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen Ratatouiile yesterday, and I liked it very much. Movies ( especially American ones) are very quick to arrive to Israel.
I had several comments to share with you, but after reading the Amateur Gourmet post on the movie, as well as the many many comments to his posts, I decided not to.
I would like to mention only one , not really very crucial detail:
food design was quite authentic, exceptionally beautiful, except for the namesake of the movie: I've never encountered a ratatouille composed from layers of eggplants, zucchini and tomato. But then on the other hand, this is a movie, not real food, so why not..

I believe many of you will find Adam's post about the movie quite interesting...( www.amateurgourmet.com).

No more war. No more discrimination.
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