Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Jan 6th - Baked Ratatouille with Coddled Eggs - tonight

I'm skipping the gym tonight. I snuck a peak at the scale even though I promised myself I wouldn't for two week into the New Years regime but I did anyway. I didn't gain as much weight over Christmas as I thought I had. Grrrr I should have had more shortbread. Anyway, I think I should rest a bit. I've gone three days in a row as well, walked to and from work for half an hour. Must rest to rebuild right?

So I'm cooking tonight. It's a recipe from a cookbook I bought for D for Christmas. He has a habit of doing that. Really, it's a good thing because I got into a terrible habit living in the UK where no one cooks. It's bad, second only to New York. I still loved to cook and bought cookbooks but would spend more time flipping through them then doing them. D doesn't buy into that. When I first moved to Vancouver, I got a bit better but was still doing easier things, easier than stuff I was doing before grad school. I seemed to have so much more time then. Now if either of us gets a new cookbook or magazine recipe, D jumps on it or makes me do it. If it's vegetarian, he generally volunteers me by saying, 'it would be cool if you made this' or 'this looks good, you should make this.'

Later tonight, I'll be making:

Baked Ratatouille with Coddled Eggs

(I need to buy the following on the way home from work)
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 medium zuccini

Already in the cupboard:
1 large tin of Tomatoes
1 small-medium eggplant
2-3 cloves garlic
1.5 t cumin ground
1.5 t sweet paprika
1/2 t chili powder
1.5 t rosemary
1/2 t basil (optional, I just like it)
2 bayleaves

I miscalculated D's arrival so I did what I like to call "Rapid Development" where I chopped and sauteed in order rather than chop everything first. It was a bit frantic but I managed by never stopping moving.

Heat 1-2 T of olive oil in a LARGE skillet or dutch oven.
Everything should be diced to 1cm or 1/2 inch. Before as as you go. Add in this order and let sautee for 2-3 minutes before you add the next:
Red onion, Eggplant, Zuccini, Peppers.
Sautee the lot for about 5 minutes or until the egg plant is soft.
Add the chopped garlic and the spices.
Add the tomatoes. Use a chopped can of tomatoes or run a knife around the tin of whole.
Add half a tin of water as you need.
Simmer for 10 minutes.

I got the text at this point he wouldn't be home until 8pm so I set it aside with a bit of extra water.

When he gets here, heat oven to 400.
Split the stew into 4 portions or a small single portion lasagna baking dish. Make a little well and drop in an egg. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the jiggly white is set. Don't over cook the yolk.

I made a simple cous cous on the side. Actually I did it first so I don't do what I always do, add more couscous when I don't think all the water will be aborbed. 1:2 ratio of couscous to water.
I added an instant dashi broth packet and a pinch of salt stirred. Boiled the water, poured over and cover. Set aside until you're ready. Fluff with fork.

I also randomly bought a purple yam when I bought the veg. I thought it looked cool. I bought a really small one. I was planning of chopping it up and putting it in the stew but didn't want take the ribbing about not having followed the recipe. I sliced them thin, tossed them with olive oil and baked them for 15 minutes to crisp up. I'm going to serve them on top. MMMMM

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