Thursday, December 11, 2008

CEIMB - Cornmeal-Crusted Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille Tart

The Wiivers chose Cornmeal-Crusted Roasted Veggie Ratatouille this week. I was ever so close to not making this recipe-mostly because it sounded complicated and time consuming (after all it took up two whole pages in the cookbook), and because there seemed to be a number of ingredients which I didn't have. But...after hearing that this recipe was great, I added a few more items to the grocery cornmeal, whole wheat baking flour (???), eggplant, zucchini, know, pretty much everything in the recipe.
Well, the recipe wasn't as complicated as I first thought. It did however require a number of different steps -- and we all know how much I hate following recipes! I ended up substituting regular all-purpose flour for the whole wheat baking flour because (1) a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour was $5; (2) the recipe only called for 1/3 a cup of said whole wheat flour, and (3) what would I do with the other 4.99lbs of whole wheat flour. I'm pretty sure you couldn't tell a difference given the strong presence of cornmeal in the crust! I also substituted olive oil for canola oil.
The crust mixed together nicely. And I survived the flashback to the four pie crusts I made in my teeny-tiny food chopper at Thanksgiving.
The crust perhaps turned out a bit thin since my tart pan is 11". Also, the sides aren't removable so I was a little bit concerned about getting the tart out of the pan once it cooked.
Overall, I thought the ratatouille was great. It had a great flavor and the tart didn't fall apart too much while trying to get it out of the pan. Although I am not such a fan of eggplant, I did like it in the tart.

Oskar, who loves to be in the kitchen while I cook patiently watched the whole process unfold. There is a reason I call him Ratatouille!

In other exciting news Santa brought me a new dishwasher last week. Apparently Santa decided to come early (and also that I had not been good enough to get said convection range that I had put on my list to Santa). Thank you Santa!

Its so nice to have a dishwasher model that isn't as old as I am! Now if only the rest of my kitchen wasn't from 1975!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CEIMB - Jewel Roasted Vegetables

Marie from A Year from Oak Cottage choose Jewel Roasted Vegetables this week. I must admit this is the first time I have ever even contemplated fixing brussel sprouts and beets. I had had brussel sprouts once before and I must say, they left a lot to be desired. My friend Melinda had fixed them for dinner so I kindly ate two, yes just two. Beets on the other hand are something I am at least familiar with. When I was growing up my dad would always eat pickled beats out of a jar. ...And once I had fresh beets on a salad at Highlands Bar and Grill. If you are ever in the Birmingham area - you should definitely try to get a reservation at Highlands -- or just go sit at the Bar and talk to the assorted variety of characters that frequent the place. Warning -dinner may cost you a small fortune, but its totally worth it.

But back to beets. I at least will eat beets. I'm not sure I would call us old pals, but I can tolerate them. Needless to say, on a typical trip to the produce section of the grocery store, I would steer more towards broccoli, salad, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus or maybe even squash - never to beets or brussel sprouts. Eww. So, much like adding squash to macaroni and cheese I was really going out on a limb fixing a baking dish full of brussels and beets. Thank goodness my good friend the carrot got to come to the party. And to really get wild I added a red onion to the mix of veggies. Excellent decision on my part!
Overall, this recipe was very easy to fix. Granted, the peeling of the beets would not have made anyone with the slightest culinary talents proud. While I am pretty certain I do not like brussel sprouts, the rest of the veggies were good. I will definitely make this again (provided I have a two+ hour of time open for the roasting!)