Wednesday, September 15, 2010

my first ratatouille.

Last night before I went to bed, I set up my slow cooker to make Barbecued Beans with Turkey Sausage (recipe identical except the book version calls for cooked turkey smoked sausage or turkey kielbasa).  I am mildly addicted to kielbasa (which I discovered for the first time early on in my relationship with Scott), so I jumped at the chance to make it!  I got the "light" version of kielbasa to try to convince myself that it was health, haha.  Anyway, I love the slow cooker because all you have to do is toss stuff in, turn it on, and ignore it for a few hours.  It started out looking like this:
But, then I went to bed.  And quickly packed it this morning.  Despite a nice big coffee and some Kashi cereal, I was STARVING by the time my morning classes were over, so I also devoured my lunch without even thinking about taking a picture.  So, here's what it might have looked like had I remembered:
Sometimes Betty's pictures are much prettier than mine, but today I think this one really looks approximately like what I ate.  ... except for one minor major detail.  I forgot the black beans!  So very sad, since I definitely purchased them, but I guess last night when I was putting everything together I just completely skipped over the part where I was supposed to put both black beans and great northern beans.  Oops.
I'm happy to say that despite forgetting a major ingredient, this was both DELICIOUS and filling.  The flavors were great, and it was definitely a very filling lunch.  Yum!

For dinner tonight, I made Mediterranean Sole with Ratatouille.  I had never made ratatouille before, but I have seen the movie, so I was excited!  First, I chopped up some onions and peppers to start cooking.
And then I tackled the eggplant.  I haven't made eggplant in a LONG time, and I was a little nervous - I used to make really great eggplant dishes, but then one day I had a huge disaster, probably because I didn't salt it first and/or undercooked it.  The recipe didn't say I needed to salt it or anything, so I reluctantly went ahead with the recipe as it was.  I cooked my vegetables for a nice solid 10-15 minutes to make sure the eggplant wasn't undercooked...
And then added in the fish!  I've never seen Sole in any of the grocery stores here, so I went with flounder (and plenty of oregano!).
I think I was maybe a little TOO careful in making sure the eggplant was fully cooked, because once I dished out my dinner, I had a very messy pan!
Oops!  Nothing hot water and a good scrubbing can't fix, though.  Anyway, I still think I cooked it perfectly, because t his recipe was DELICIOUS.  The flavors created with the oregano, diced tomatoes and other veggies was spectacular.  I could eat it all night.  The fish - I could take or leave.  Maybe with actual sole I would have liked it more, but it kind of tasted like the fish was just there to add protein - and not to enhance the dish in any way.
So, next time I made this I will either go totally vegetarian or find some other protein - I bet chicken would be much tastier in here!  Or possibly even some ground beef?  We'll see!

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