Ratatouille


Yes, I thought it was a movie too.  That shows home much of a “not-a-cook” I really am, right?  Well here is another recipe from my class at Cook that proved to me it was first a chunky type of soup not the name of a rat.

Check out my others ones here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, medium diced
  • 1/2 cup plum tomato, medium diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or for my fellow vegetarians try VegeBase)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat a medium saucepan to a medium high heat.

Add the oil to the pan and then onion and garlic.

Saute for 2-3 minutes until onion becomes translucent.

Add the yellow squash and zucchini, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Saute for 2-3 minutes and then add the eggplant and tomato.

Saute another 2-3 minutes then add the stock.

Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Add the basil, check seasoning and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Serve it warm.

Advertisements

Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach


Another recipe from my cooking class at COOK in Ashburn, VA

Check out the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad recipe

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 1 package (20 oz) Butternut Squash, cleaned and precut
  • 1/2 of red onion – 1 whole onion, halved and quartered (onion can get overpowering, you can “eyeball it” and reduce the amount as needed)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Wegman’s Basting Oil (can use any flavored oil or plain olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup – 1 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)

Preheat 450° F

Cut squash into 1 inch cubes (try to get around all the same size for even cooking).  Combine squash and onions in large pan; drizzle with basting oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss lightly to coat.

Roast for 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned.

Add Spinach and cranberries; toss so spinach will wilt.

Tips:

  1. Once you add the cranberries and spinach, you can put it back in the oven for 1 minute to help the spinach wilt faster.
  2. Roasting vegetables can be done at any temperature. The lower the temperature, the longer  it will take.  Cooking them longer and at a lower temperature will allow the natural sugars in the vegetables to caramelize more which results in more color and flavor.
  3. By buying the squash precut, you save time but will probably spend more money.  If you buy a whole squash, you can save time by cutting it up the night before and putting it in an airtight container.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad


ImageI used my Groupon for a cooking lesson at COOK in Ashburn, Virginia.  Since I have been Pescatarian (Vegetarian with fish and egg allowances) for about two years, I really wanted to learn a few more veggie dishes that weren’t too hard to make so I chose the “Veggie Tales” class.

No, I wasn’t lucky enough to find myself living the scene in Hereafter with Matt Damon as my cooking partner so I said yes to each glass of wine they offered throughout the night.  And, somehow, I managed to make some pretty good dishes and get home by 930p (geez – I should not be proud of that haha).

ImageOur first recipe was the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad.  The tomatoes should be roasted for 2 hours so the chef, Lucy Ritter, pre-roasted them for us before we arrived to speed things up for us.  It was a simple and very tasty dish that I plan to make again tonight as I’m writing this blog post.  The picture doesn’t do the dish justice but one of my table partners was a bit of a bossy-knows-everything-about-cooking-and-you-must-need-me-to-tell-you-what-to-do-because-you-obviously-can’t-think-for-yourself kinda person so I was a bit distracted by her.  I only put a small amount balsamic dressing on my tomatoes before I snapped the picture.

 

Check out the Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach recipe I made next.

Ingredients:

  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seed removed
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat the oven to 275 °F

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.

Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize.

Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.

If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half.

Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Serve at room temperature.

%d bloggers like this: