How to cook Ratatouille

No. 49

Hi, welcome to episode three. Already on the third one, I can’t believe it. We’re doing, a sort of… it’s like a ratatouille. We’re going to griddle off some courgettes and aubergines, red peppers and a few other things. But it’s an interesting way of showing you how to cook and present certain veg, and you can add things to the dish, like meat and fish, for example.

We’re going to be doing the prize draw for those of you that were good enough to enter, and the way you enter is by leaving a review on either Google or Facebook. So thank you for all those that did that.

Once again, I said it last time, but please send suggestions in for the sort of things that you want on this, what’s now looking like three weekly show. Let me know, you know, interesting things, questions that you may have, you want to appear in it, anything at all. Please let me know and we’ll finish off making you happy, hopefully. Many thanks.

Hi. I’m going to show you a very simple . . . this is kind of like a ratatouille. It hasn’t got onion in it. It shows you how to cook various different vegetables. So I’ve just got some garlic, which has been in some olive oil. In fact, what I am going to do is just rub some of that olive oil into a red pepper, and that’s going to go in the oven. We’re going to forget about that.

So that goes in. You probably want to cook that for about half an hour. In the meantime, what I’m going to do is just griddle off some aubergine. So those go on there, and what we’re going to do is just give them a bit of a lattice, because it looks quite pretty. So they’re going to cook for about 30 seconds. We’re going to turn them, flip them over, and then turn them 90 degrees thereafter.

The thing to remember is don’t ever put any fat on the griddle pan. Look, you see we’ve got a really nice texture there. The other thing is make sure the pan is really super hot before you start cooking on it.

Now whilst we’re doing that, I’m just going to grab some vine tomatoes, and I’m going to blanch these in boiling water. The idea of that is to get the skins off of them.

Those aubergines will now be done, so I’m going to turn them over like that. Right, I’m going to carry on with those. The idea of the tomatoes is the skins will then blister. I’ll show you how to peel them, and then we’ll get those in the oven.

Right, those are now ready. So what I am going to do is just put them on a grill, a rack rather, just to stop them from sweating and going soggy. There’s a nice bit of colour on those. We’re to do exactly the same with the courgettes. Just stick those on. I’m going to turn them by 90 degrees in a minute.

Now interestingly enough, the tomatoes are ready. So I’m just going to pop those out, and they’ve already started to blister. They’re going to be quite hot. As you can see, the skins will just slide off. So those skins just slide off like that, and with the eye facing the ceiling, what I am going to do is just lay those on a bakery rack like so, and then those are going to go in the oven, and we’re going to slow roast those for probably about an hour and a half on about 100 degrees.

I’m just going to take the little end off. Those are going to go straight in the oven.

Now, what happened a couple of days ago is there was some chopped garlic lying around, and I don’t like to throw anything away, so I covered the chopped garlic in olive oil and we have a very nice garlic oil. These are very dry, and you need to add flavour to them, and I think the best way of adding flavour to them is by creating a flavoured oil.

So I’m going to take the aubergines and I’m going to take the courgettes, and I know this is just a small portion, but I’m going to add the olive oil to what I’m doing and then just give it a good old mix.

Remember those red peppers we put in the oven? Let’s take those out. It was actually red pepper and garlic, wasn’t it? We’ve got some nicely roasted off garlic and some red pepper in there. And the idea with these is to take that off. You can actually just pinch off the skin. It should come off nice and easy, and then you just open it out. We’ve got beautiful flesh there.

Now, I’m just going to run over here and grab a knife and take off this extra bit because it doesn’t taste very nice. I’m not going to use the whole thing because we’re only making a small salad. But I’ve just cut that pepper into lovely strips, and that can go in.

The other thing is that garlic. Mm, delicious. It’s really soft and gorgeous. And if you just cut that, I’m only going to use half a clove. I do find that slow roasted garlic, and you only need to stick it in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes, really retains its flavour. I’m just adding some fine dice of that into our salad.

Then do you remember those tomatoes? They’ve been cooking for about, you know, an hour, an hour and 20 minutes on about 120 degrees. Those have come out, and they’re beautifully cooked. The nice thing about the tomato actually is you just blitz those up, and you’ve got a beautiful tomato sauce.

So I’m just going to take . . . I think I’m going to cut them, cut them into quarters. So I’ll do three of those. Just like working in odd numbers, makes the dish look prettier. You could add whatever you like to this dish. I’m going to leave it as is and just dress it with a bit of green.

I’ve just got a handful of salad. And look, there’s all of this red pepper flavour in there. To me that’s what cookery is all about, just using stuff like that for your flavour. A little bit of olive oil. Pinch of black pepper. You can put salt in afterwards, if you’d like, to taste.

Now what we’re going to do is just build this dish out. But it’s just really a simple, lovely, nutritious vegetable-y starter. It does take a bit of effort to make, but I do think it’s well worth it. It presents really nicely.

And there you have your griddled and roasted Mediterranean vegetable salad. Pimp it up. Add fun things to it – goat cheese, chicken, fish, tuna, whatever you like. But the basics are there, and the idea is different ways of cooking those vegetables.

Ah, the moment you’ve been waiting for, the pasta machine prize draw, right. Just to show you, there are loads of names in here. So they’re not all my daughter. The winner, who left a very nice review, is Frances Wise. Frances, thank you very much. I will be in touch via email.

On the next show, in about three weeks time, we’ll be doing a beautiful sea bream dish with broad beans and fresh peas with a lovely lemon sauce. So make sure you watch. Thank you for watching now. Happy cooking!

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