This last Spring our church had a family movie night and picked the movie Ratatouille. For fun we thought of having a ratatouille tasting. Of course Tom signed up and took a recipe, but really I did most of the work (shopping, prep, etc.) Also, I searched for another recipe to see how close the one that was handed out was. I settled on a "Tyler's Ultimate Ratatouille". Also, I usually will try out a recipe if I have some sort of idea what it should look like so I have an frame of reference - there was a photo along with the Tyler's Ultimate recipe. I got to cooking and did exactly as the recipe directed and thought it turned out pretty good. However, once I brought it to the church, I wasn't so sure that it was actually done correctly - booo.
Fortunately for me, one of the Barista's at our local Starbucks is from France and I had an opportunity to ask him what the heck it was supposed to look like. Turns out it is a side dish that of veggies that are cooked down, but not so much that they are MUSHY (or mooshy), so the veggies are soft, but still hold their shape. So with this bit of information I surmised that I had done it correctly, just wasn't sure on the taste of it - how would I know what it is supposed to taste like? For me it tasted okay, but then it was my first try at it. Also, he asked me why I didn't bring him some...YIKES! Bringing a dish to a person who is from the country of origin for scrutiny...scary!
Last week I had a hankering for ratatouille and decided that I would make some for us and then share some with Stephane. Monday night rolled around and I went to the store to see if he was working and he was so I presented my ratatouille offering and he took a whiff and noted that it smelled right. SCORE! That was enough for me to last a couple of days. As the week went on, I had not seen him and was starting to wonder if I might have made him sick or something...hehe.
This morning I got the final report from him and he said it was "Very good." That is high praise coming from a frenchman and a proper one at that! We visited for a couple of minutes after the rush was over and he said that the fact that the veggies were not so soft that they fell apart made it good. I'm pretty excited about that - I really like to cook food as close to the original recipe as possible and I guess it worked well this time.
I like ratatouille and all, but it is a involved process with cooking each of the veggies separately first and then adding in everything at the end - it doesn't fit into my lets get this food going mentality, but then neither do several other dishes that I have tried out
I think I'm almost ready for my cooking show!