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Getting Fancy with the Spices

November 22, 2011

Tonight for dinner I made a vegetarian recipe provided by my blogging buddy Aloha. One of her favorite recipes is Ratatouille Rumbletum and it is so good that her mom will make it on special occasions. I am pretty sure if Mrs. Aloha’s Mom had been a witness in my kitchen tonight she could have summed up my preparation of this meal in a simple phrase,

“You’re Doing it Wrong.”

I knew this was an ambitious meal to make on a week night, but it was the last day of vegetarian week and I really wanted to give it a try. I had a very frustrating cooking experience and it is entirely my fault. You see, Aloha’s recipe makes something that looks like this

and I really, really, really wanted to make something that looked like this

As Made by Smitten Kitchen

So I changed the recipe as I was cooking it to try to get closer to the kaleidoscopic dish we all know so well from the Pixar movie. I knew this was a bad idea and I talked myself out of it several times, but once I started chopping and sautéing and getting fancy with the spices I convinced myself it could be done. After all, anyone can cook, right? Instead of cubing the eggplant I sliced it thin which caused it to turn to mush as I heated it with the zucchini. I pureed the tomatoes instead of dicing and then forgot to reduce the stock before adding them in. Which flustered me enough to make me forget to add any spices and herbs until I was mixing everything together at the end.

It’s not really a fair comparison because ratatouille is supposed to be  the stew like dish that I ended up making. And in the end it tasted quite good, but I think it would be greatly helped by adding a little butter and some cream. You know, Mitch it up a little.

Ratatouille. It’s like a stew, right? Why do they call it that? If you’re gonna name a food, you should give it a name that sounds delicious. Ratatouille doesn’t sound delicious. It sounds like “rat” and “patootie.” Rat-patootie, which does not sound delicious. –  Linguini from Pixar’s Ratatouille

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2011 9:33 am

    There’s nothing wrong with ambition, my friend!

  2. November 23, 2011 8:52 am

    cream improves everything. also, butter. both of those dishes look way out of my league.

  3. November 22, 2011 11:10 pm

    Ah well, it was worth a shot! Mom says that “the key is in the dicing”….

    LOVE that Pixar movie. That quote still makes me laugh 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 11:32 pm

      I knew I should have diced the eggplant once I started cooking it. I’m not really sure what got into me. I am usually a recipe natzi and follow them to the T. I

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