Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ratatouille with Steak Au Poivre

Time to put the fancy new cookware to use! I’ve never made ratatouille before and I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten it either… honestly, before seeing this recipe I’m not sure I even really knew what it was, other than the bits and pieces I was able to glean after watching the first half of the Pixar movie. But I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s really just a whole bunch of chopped up fresh spices and veggies like eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms. 
This recipe was very easy, especially because I got to chop up all the fresh spices (parsley, thyme, etc.) in my little food processor so it made a very savory addition to the veggies. Then, of course, I cooked it in the oven in my fancy new Fontignac dish. Using fresh veggies and spices from Whole Foods was definitely key to this recipe and I’m pretty addicted to using all fresh ingredients now whenever I can (rather than anything canned, frozen, or dried spices) – I can’t wait for summer and farm market season!

I also chose a nice sirloin steak to accompany the ratatouille which I decided to cook “au poivre” style, coated in cracked peppercorns – I even found a recipe online for how to make the pan sauce (which was quite easy and especially delicious, thank you Julia Child!) 

I made my pan sauce with red wine rather than cognac and I added some Dijon mustard which gave it a nice kick. I think I want to keep experimenting with sauces now that I get the jist of how to make them (basically adding some gravy, alcohol, spices and such to the drippings from the steak pan).

Overall rating: 9 out of 10.

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