Disney’s ratatouille

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Doesn’t look like much. I know.

Adapted from Dishes by Disney

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, cut into large cubes
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes (I subbed with a green bell pepper for lack)
1 yellow squash, cut into large cubes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into large slices
1 red onion, cut into large cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 sprigs thyme
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
4 eggs

Directions:
Saute the red onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Crack the eggs and poach them in wells in the pot, like shakshuka. Spoon sauce over and let heat cook them a few minutes. Serve hot.

I had half a box of white mushrooms, so I tossed them in last, chopped same size as all the other veggies. Apparently the modern ratatouille included marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence, so I threw in a few bay leaves while our little potted basil re-grows its leaves from the last Continental recipe.

~Jessica

Pot-au-feu

Adapted from Food Network and Buzzfeed (via Anthony Bourdain)

1 bouquet garni
1.4 L broth
pinch of black pepper
Camargue salt
6-8 whole cloves (I didn’t have)
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small leeks, outer leaves peeled, halved lengthwise
1 bunch carrots, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 celery stick, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 small turnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
some bone-in meat of your choice (I used a can of cassoulet de canard)
2 spoonfuls extra-virgin olive oil
200 g winter greens (I used frozen spinach)
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, to garnish

Tie 1/2 the parsley (I also added a sprig of thyme and bay leaves for a bouquet garni) and place in broth with spices. Simmer 10 minutes. Add leeks, carrots, turnips and cover. Bring to boil then simmer 15 minutes. Reserve broth and set aside vegetables. Here I heated a can of cassoulet and poached it 5 min. Add olive oil and greens, cook for 5-10 minutes. Return vegetables to the pot (discarding the green part of the leeks) and enough of the reserved broth to cover, then simmer for 10 minutes. Chop parsley and add to the pot. Ladle into bowls to serve, adding reserved broth as needed (less if you prefer gravy to soup).

Potatoes would have been good in this, or flour to thicken the soup into a gravy, and I didn’t have cloves. Green cabbage is an option as well. Traditionally served with coarse salt and Dijon mustard, horseradish sauce, and pickles.

~Jessica

Tian de Courgettes au Riz

Zucchini, Rice and Cheese Gratin Adapted from smitten kitchen, From Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II. Serves 6

~1 kg zucchini (I used 3 green & yellow squash)
90 grams plain, uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, minced (I used 2 shallots)
75 mL olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced
15 g all-purpose flour
Milk, as needed (I used veg. broth)
55 g grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Butter for dish

Wash the zucchini and trim ends. Halve lengthwise. Coarsely grate and toss with salt in a colander set over a bowl. Let drain for 20-30 minutes. Save the drained liquid. Taste. If too salty, rinse and drain the zucchini again (not saving the liquid this time). Squeeze in handfuls, gently, collecting the drained liquid. Blot dry on a paper towel.

Saute the onions on medium-low in olive oil for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the grated (dry) zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss and turn for 5 – 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Measure the drained liquid. If you have less than 600 mL, add milk/broth until you have this. Stir this into the zucchini-onion mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat again, stir in the rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

In a baking dish, add mixture, then sprinkle with reserved cheese and remaining olive oil/butter. Heat oven to 220 deg C. Bake in upper third of oven until bubbling and browned on top, about 25 – 30 minutes. (If yours begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil up until the last 5 minutes.) The rice should absorb all the liquid. Serve immediately.

~Jessica

Quiche Lorraine

Adapted from smitten kitchen, adapted from Le Pain Quotidien. Served 3.

quiche pastry dough
2 large leeks, white and light green only diced (I used one super-big leek)
1 onion, diced (I used red)
olive oil + butter
salt
3 eggs, divided (I used 4 as they weren’t large)
120 mL+ heavy cream (I used 200 g creme fraiche)
240 mL+ sour cream (I had 150 g)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pepper
200 g diced ham (I had 227 g pork belly bacon, cooked)
100 g Swiss cheese, freshly grated (I had Emmentaler)

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The cream-egg mixture

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Added broccoli because I had it

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One cute slice

Saute leeks and onions in butter on low heat for 30-40 minutes until caramelized. Remove. Mix the creams with the eggs. Add nutmeg, salt, pepper. Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Unfurl pastry dough in a pan. Add the vegetables (I added some blanched broccoli I had lying around), then the bacon, then cheese, and finally the egg-cream liquid. Bake 25-30 minutes. Wait 5 minutes for the eggs to set. Serve warm.

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I used Emmentaler because ‘Swiss cheese’ doesn’t exist in Germany or Switzerland. Like ‘French fries’ in France or ‘Italian dressing’ in Italy. See here.

~Jessica

Cassoulet au canard

Baked white bean & duck casserole, from the can! but for a recipe from Saveur

white beans
slab bacon
black peppercorns
cloves
thyme, parsley, bay leaves } bouquet garni
yellow onions
duck breasts
duck sausage
duck legs
chicken stock
2 legs duck confit
whole peeled tomatoes in purée
duck fat

IMAG5158.jpgBefore heating in the oven at 190 deg C for 20 minutes, you should top it with a mixture of minced garlic, fresh bread crumbs, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

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roasted ratatouille and lasagna pasta, baked all together!

~Jessica

The world’s best cuisines

According to…

CNN
10. United States
9. Mexico
8. Thailand
7. Greece
6. India
5. Japan
4. Spain
3. France
2. China
1. Italy

Lonely Planet
1. Thailand
2. Greece
3. China
4. France
5. Spain
6. Mexico
7. Italy
8. India
9. Japan
10. Indonesia & Malaysia

Rough Guides
10. Singapore
9. Mexico
8. Indonesia
7. France
6. China
5. Vietnam
4. Japan
3. India
2. Thailand
1. Italy

This subjective topic came up when I found some Europeans who did not consider French food to be all that special, but most Americans think French is haute cuisine. Do you agree? Bold countries made all three lists! =)

~Jessica

References
“THE BEST CUISINE IN THE WORLD – AS VOTED BY YOU”

“Which country has the best food?”

“The best countries for food”

Fried tomato galette with corn and zucchini

Adapted from smitten kitchen

refrigerated puff pastry dough
15 ml olive oil
coarse sea salt
250 grams cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn (I used canned)
1 small (225 g) zucchini and summer squash, diced
1 bundle (3 to 4 ounces or 85 to 115 g) scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 g) grated parmesan
mozzarella
ricotta

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Saute tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes at high heat until they burst. Add zucchini and cook on medium until soft. Add corn and scallions and cook until done. Remove from heat. Preheat oven at 200 deg C. Add vegetables onto puff pastry with the cheeses. Pleat edges and bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve.

Happy Earth Day!

~Jessica