For the final entry in this "What the heck am I going to do with all this eggplant?" edition of Iron Chef Spark, we have: Ratatouille!
I was planning on making it for dinner last night, but I had to work late, so I didn't get organized. I didn't think of throwing everything in a crockpot until this morning. So, I put it in a crockpot this morning for lunch. Unfortunately, since it's for lunch, there will be no blind taste test judge - yet. We may be having leftovers for dinner. If so, then I will post the reaction.
I originally intended to add sauted cubed chicken to it, but I ran out of time. So this is a completely vegetarian dish.
I chopped up all the veggies on Sunday and put them in containers. There was no chopping involved for me today. I just threw all the veggies straight in a crockpot (what I should have done yesterday - doh!)
Then added the red pepper/tomato sauce, and set it on low.
I'm at home today, so I went back to my home office and have been busily wrapping up before I head out of town.
Dropped the cats off at the cattery, now it's time for lunch!
I added a dolop of greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and some chopped basil. I also added lots of Tabsaco sauce, which you can't see, but oh, it's in there! I also added some melted brie on toast for protein and starch to round out this veggie dish. The brie looks kinda weird in the pic because I overmelted it a wee bit, but don't worry, I've eaten it for you so you don't have to eat my mistake!
Tasting result: Gorgeous! You simply must try making a ratatouille with the Pacific Naturals Red Pepper and Tomato soup that I used (see my prep blog for recipe).
Judging Chef Preparation:
EASE OF PREPARATION. Was it easy to make?
ADAPTABILITY. Was it easy to swap ingredients, or does it require precision to the recipe?
ECONOMY OF INGREDIENTS. Was it economical to make, or does it break the bank?
HEALTHINESS. Can a healthy version of this be made?
COOKING SKILL. Can it be made by a home chef, or does it require advanced culinary degree?
TIME REQUIREMENT. Does it require all day preparation?
FUN FACTOR. Was it fun to make, or was it a chore?
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easier than easy. Chop up some veggies - any veggie! And put it in the pot. You don't even need to chop it all nice. Just chop chop chop and toss toss toss it in!
ADAPTABILITY: Is there anything more adaptable? Any veggie. Any tomato based sauce. You choose.
ECONOMY OF INGREDIENTS: I used a fancy shmancy organic soup for the base. And even that ain't all that expensive considering I've got probably 6-8 servings of soup left. Even if you used all organic vegetables, it would be a darn stretch to call this an expensive dish. This is the staple of frugal cooking.
HEALTHINESS: Oh gosh. It's all veggies.
COOKING SKILL: Are you breathing? Good! You can chop veggies and put it in a crockpot.
TIME REQUIREMENT: Chop and drop. 5 minutes? This is the kind of dish that I LOVE for a busy weekday.
FUN FACTOR: I can surf the web and chill out while my crockpot does the work. I don't have to do anything! Yeah, that's fun! Plus it's fun to say 'ratatouille'. Try it. "Ratatouille".
Next up: The final judging round!