Wednesday, September 26, 2007

International Supper Night

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday and we decided to have an international feast for the occasion. Connie chose recipes with a Mediterranean flair - hummus and Greek feta and chicken salad. Connie makes a yummy hummus.

Susan was Miss Spain. She made paella. Yum! And her boyfriend made a traditional Latin American Tres Leches cake. No pictures (the hummus is a stock photo) because it is so dark at my MIL's house and photos NEVER come out well.

I was France. I made ratatouille, a traditional peasant dish from Nice. Originally, the dish did not include eggplant, because it wasn't in season at the same time as the zucchini and peppers and tomatoes, but it has since become traditional to add eggplant. I use a Moosewood recipe and it is yummy.

Moosewood Cookbook's Ratatouille

3 tbsp. olive oil
4 medium cloves garlic
2 cups chopped onion
1 bay leaf

Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add garlic, onion, and bay leaf and saute' over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

1 medium eggplant, cubed (I salt mine and let it drain in a colander for about 20 minutes to degorge the eggplant to remove the bitterness, then a rinse it well)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp basil

1 tsp marjoram or oregano (I use oregano)

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

Add eggplant, salt, and herbs, and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until eggplant is soft.

Add 1 medium zucchini, cubed, 2 medium bell peppers, in strips (I use red and yellow, as they are sweeter), 1 14-oz can of tomatoes, and black pepper to taste. (Break tomatoes into smaller pieces with a spoon.) Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, or until zucchini and bell peppers are tender.

Top with fresh minced parsley.

I should have taken a picture of this after it was cooked, but it was hot and I was hungry. :^) We usually serve this over couscous, but we didn't tonight because we already had rice in the paella. Didn't want to be too starchy!

My 14-year-old nephew kept calling the ratatouille "goo-lah-lou" and we kept laughing at him. He said whatever it was called, he liked it and he ate quite a bit!

Everything was delicious tonight and it was a wonderful family time.


Cynthia said...

YUM! Sounds like a VERY FUN birthday.

MamaSMorgan said...

What wonderful pictures! I think I will try this recipe one night. Everything sounds wonderful.