Nobody Expects The Ratatouille Post!!!
October 14, 2010
Nobody expects the Ratatouille, mostly on a Paleo Blog! Paleo Guy you must be insane! You must have drank an over-fermented Kambucha! You’re reverting to your Vegan Ways! You’re Evil! Ah shucks, come on guys, give me a break, we’ve been in this relationship long enough! You should trust me by now!
Yes vegetables can be our friends too! So Paleo Guy what’s a Ratatouille? The word Ratatouille comes from Occitan ratatolha (love that spelling) from Occitan Provença, which is the area around present day Provence and Nice, that’s the South of France for you guys! You know, Europe and stuff (told you this was a cultural blog)
Paleo Guy, where’s the meat? Come on guys, relax! A Ratatouille is great! (it even gets it’s own capitalized letter) It’s a fast and easy all-purpose multi-functionnal side dish! No fancy cooking or recipe here, even a child can do it (Julia did). Basically take a bunch of veggies, throw them in a pot and you’re done! Voila!
But you know me, there has to be some secrets involved here! Like everyone can buy bricks and mortar, but to build a house you need a plan… remember the three little pigs! (Mmmmmm pork chops, bacon…. Oops, not the right post). So here goes:
Step #1: Differenciate and cut!
Now, all veggies are not created equal, and the secret to a great ratatolha is to know what goes where when. Let’s just say that there are Step #1 and Step #2 veggies. Step #1 is about stir-frying or Sauté vegs (and non-veg) that takes on new flavors when they are so prepared. For example a boiled onion will totally not evoke the same gustatory experience as a stir-fried one (Dang I write well!)
So let’s see what do we have in this category: onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and leeks. Most of them are from the allium family (come on guys, do a google search, I won’t do ALL the work!) For how long? Well, around 10 to 15 minutes until some of them starts to brown. I’ve cut everything in big chunks, so the flavors stays more in the veg than flowing out and becoming blend (yarchk!). Again, never ever cut mushrooms, if you do they will not have any taste of there own (and they won’t forgive you!)
Step #2: Let it soak!
Now Paleo Guy now we put in the meat, right? AAhhh…. well how to put it… NO !!! Step #2 veggies are those that are more fragile and become soggy when overcooked, they lose all their integrity (now who wants to do that!) Often their tastes are more subtle, and they easily tend to fall appart when you stir them to much. Caution to be applied thus!
Cauliflower, zuccinis, eggplants, you can also add broccoli (I forgot they were in the fridge) and cabbage. My differents herbs and spices are already in there (bay leaves everyone)and finally, a big can of organic tomatoes. Of course if you have garden ones on hands the better, but fall is upon us and I have to make due with what I have around. During winter I find that organic tomatoes in cans are actually a hundred times tastier than non-organic ‘fresh’ tomatoes! By the way if I buy tomatoes I will only buy those that smell good! You’d be surprised how many look good but are actually tasteless, same with strawberries….. (or TV stars).
Step #3: SO WHERE IS THE MEAT?
Man you need to relax! Here:
There! Happy? The point of the Ratatouille is that you can roast any meat you want, even shrimps, open the fridge, take your Rata, warm-up in an another pan or pot, or even in the same one if you wish, and there you go. Eat! Now can I finish with my recipe?
Doesn’t this just looks just yummy!!!!!!
Now transfer it all in a nice glass pot to place in the middle of the table! You know how I feel about sitting down together around food, just makes it homey! Did you notice by the way that the days are getting shorter!!!! (thanks to my little assistant for the picture, not bad for a 5 year old! 6 in January….my baby’s growing up!!! back to her later)
Come on, isn’t this just Dang beautifull!!!! It brings a tear to my eye!
And now the Grand Finale!!!! Ze meat meetz ze vezetables!!!! Applause please! Thank you, thank you, thank you…. (come on, after hours of writing it’s nice to have a few rewards!)
Now since starting this Paleo Recipe blog I have been using a licking rating system instead of stars. So if I end up licking my fingers, or even better my plate than the recipe will get posted. So let’s look at my rating for this recipe:
Well, that’s conclusive! At least 5 licks out of 5!
Not the end of the story yet!
So another great thing about our Ratatolha is that you make a big pot and the leftovers are easily transformed into new meals, as in lunch for my wife and my daughter!
Just add some sardines and you got your Omega 3s and your proteins! Oh yes, forgot, always put some oil, preferably Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flax oil over your veggies, even your meats. Many minerals are better absorbed this way. Non strict Paleo just add Real Butter, or cream, or cheese…
One last tidbit!
Man, I’ve got to go to work to earn some almighty dollar, bills, bread, cabbage, cash, chicken feed, coinage, coins, cold cash, dinero, dough, folding money, green stuff, legal tender, medium of exchange, moolah, notes, piece of change, roll, specie, wad (man you gotta love the internet, makes ya caltured!)
Anyway, I love you guys, so I’ll go all the way…..Guess what I had for breakfast???? Ratatolha! What did I tell you! It’s the fast and easy all-purpose multi-functionnal side dish! Just add some meats/proteins and your all set!! Just love my eggs!!!!
And as Busta would say: I’m outta here, PEACE!
So until next, GGrrrrrrrrrrr Guy The Healthy Paleo Guy