Thursday 27 March 2008

A day spent pottering

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Tomorrow my big sister is coming to stay for a week. She, like the rest of my family, lives in Germany, so I'm always really happy when I get to spend some time with any of them, as it only happens a couple of times a year.

I spent most of today just pottering around the house, tidying things away, doing laundry and getting the spare bedroom sorted out. Thankfully, she won't be checking in corners and under beds, so I don't have to do a major spring clean. It'd be a different story if my mother came to visit. Even though my mum obviously doesn't check under beds either (or at least I think she doesn't), I always start a major cleaning operation when she comes, as her house always seems to be spotless and I get conscious of things I usually don't even notice.

My sister doesn't really cook much, so she always says she looks forward to coming here and being cooked for, which means I'll probably do quite a bit of it over the next week, but I don't know how much time I'll have to write about it. So there might be a backlog of stuff to post by the time the week is over, but I'll make sure I make a note and take a pic of everything to share later.

For now I'll leave you with my version of Ratatouille. Full of vegetables and wonderful flavours, I like it with pasta, as a filling for a baked potato or even as a kind of sauce/side with pork, fish or chicken. It can be eaten hot or cold. You can also change the quantities of vegetables and use more of one and less of the other, or try adding mushrooms for example. It adapts well to whatever is in your fridge.



2 cans plum tomatoes
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 red peppers, cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 aubergine, cut into chunks
2 small zucchini, cut into thick slices
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon sugar o
live oil

Heat a little oil in a large, heavy based pan.

Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Now add the peppers and fry for 2 more minutes.
Remove from the pan.

Add a little new oil to the pan and fry the aubergines for 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and fry for 3 minutes.

Remove from pan.

Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sugar and tomatoes to the empty pan and simmer until the tomatoes start breaking down.

Return all the vegetables to the pan and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

Stir regularly and season with salt and pepper.

The vegetables should be very soft but at the same time still have some of their texture.

Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immidiately or allow to cool down and serve it cold.


Nic said...

This is just how I like my ratatouille, looks delicious.
Have a great time with your sister Sylvie!

Peter M said...

It seems the common veggies in ratatouille are tomatoes and zucchini...everything else is open.

Great looking dish an a side dish for all year round.

test it comm said...

Your ratatouille looks really tasty.

Jaime said...

this looks great. sounds silly, i know, but i've been wanting to try this dish ever since i saw the movie ;)

Gloria Baker said...

I love ratatouille! Yours look so nice. xx Gloria

Anonymous said...

Looks great. My daughter loves the Ratatouille movie so maybe I can convince her to try it!

Sylvie said...

Nic, thanks. I'm sure we'll think of something nice to do.

Peter, you're right, I've tried a number of different combination, but this is my favourite.

Kevin & Gloria, thanks.

Jaime and Beth, I haven't seen the movie. I've been meaning to though as it looks fun, even for adults.

Anonymous said...

oh, sylvie that looks lovely. I really like ratatouille, but I am allergic to eggplant. Maybe I can try it with mushrooms instead. Have a wonderful time with your sister Sylvie!

Raquel from recipezaar

Angela said...

Hi Sylvie, have a great week with your sister. I too love ratatouille, I was first shown how to make it by my employer when I was a young nanny. She made it adding lea & Perrins chilli and garlic sauce, it was delicious.

Sylvie said...

Raquel, thanks. Yeah try it with mushrooms or maybe something like spaghetti squash, or just leave the eggplant out. I love it as it's all about the vegetables.

Angela, I didn't even know Lea & Perrins made a Chili and Garlic Sauce. How can I call myself a foodie?! It sounds good though, I'll definitely look out for it next time I'm out shopping.

Cathie said...

Sylvie, I did a another version from Ina Garten and it had tomato, potato and zucchini with the onion and garlic on the bottom and the cheese on the top - it was so yum. I like the idea of eggplant in it as well!!

ps. I know exactly the face you made when you first tasted vegemite!!

jesse said...

Oh my, that dish looks SO comforting! I love the addition of eggplant to it.. hmm, now my mind's just full of ideas =D