Tuesday, January 11, 2011

St. Claire Cooking

Tonight I discovered French provencale cooking by chance. A recent bout of vegetarianism leads me to buying a large eggplant thinking to make somekind of lasagna. Hubbostrich, though, had some craving for cheeseless, hence less calories, pasta dish. We consulted this indispensable book for an eggplant recipe and stumble on Ratatouille Provencale.

As always, yours truly and her partner in crime never stay true to a recipe. We modified JoC's recipe even added some ground beef (the vegetarian me is finally cured after a week) and some purple head cabbage to the hearty stew. I also boiled some elbow macaroni and toasted rye bread as side dishes.

I couldn't really identify what is so good about it. It's probably just the amalgamation of all natural glutamates in the tomatoes and the onion, shallots, and the sweetness and flavors of the vegetables including the eggplant and the beef taste in the background and the hint of vermouth.

Bibi and I each had to come back two more times for a total of six helpings between us (recipe was for 8 servings) and was left with small container for somebody's lunch tomorrow. If that is not enough to testify on how good the stew is maybe you should come visit us and we will cook it for you.

Without anymore ado, here is our recipe.

Xindy's Ratatouille St. Claire

On dutch oven,

heat up 1/2 c olive oil

pour in

approximately 2 c (1 lb) 1" x 1" cubed peeled eggplant
1 c julienned purple head cabbage

cook covered until tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from dutch oven onto a dish.

Season with salt and black pepper.

On dutch oven,

brown approximately 1/4 lb ground beef

pour in 1/4 c dry vermouth

cover and cook with medium heat approximately 15-20 minutes (if started from frozen state).


1 clove sliced shallot
1/4 c sliced onion
1 sliced red bell pepper (yellow will work too, this is mainly for color)
3 sliced cloves of garlic

Cook at medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add to the mixture

1 can of Italian tomatoes
1 tbs of sliced fresh sage
2 bay leaves
1 tbs of fresh rosemary
1 1/2 c water

Cook for another 10 minutes.

Reduce to low heat, add the eggplant and cabagge mixture, cover and cook for another 20 minutes.

Bon appétit.

Xindy's Ratatouille St. Claire

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