Monday, June 21, 2010

Spice Swap and Ratatouille

In my infinite wisdom I bought some spices from Costco when we first arrived and I was so desperate I almost kissed the basil straight on its mouth. Now in the light of day though, it's clear I'm never going to use all 12 kilos of it, so, if anyone is interested in taking a portion of cinnamon, basil or a few bay leaves just let me know and I'll gladly dish out a bucketfull for you.

And now, Rat-atat-atat-tat-touille. Otherwise known as the traditional French provencal stewed vegetable dish made famous by...rats. Thanks Disney.

Unlike the strawberries that came and went in about two weeks, the zucchini season seems to be never ending here so I used some to make a stove-top ratatoille with chicken.

I will never in all my days understand why they butcher chickens like they do here. Never. They hack through through the bones instead of following the natural sections of meat and consequently I wound up with these haggared, uneven, pieces of meat that have random sharp bone chips all over. From now on I'm going to break down the birds myself because it drives me crazy.

Anyway, for the ratatoille:

- zucchini, sliced
- eggplant, sliced
- tomatoes, chopped and sliced
- onion, chopped
- garlic, minced
- basil, oregano, salt, pepper

- Slice the eggplant and succhini into semi-thin rounds, sprinkle with salt and leave them to sweat.
- Saute the chopped onion and garlic in some butter until translucent. Add about a half a chopped tomatoe.
- When the tomatoe startes releasing it's juices layer the zucchini, eggplant and tomatoe rounds and add the seasonings. Let it be until everything is coming up roses.

For the chicken, after hunting for a decent piece,I shoved some chopped parsley and butter underneath the skin and seasoned with salt and pepper. I grilled it over medium heat, skin side first, then flip it on its backside once. Done-zo.

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