Friday, September 7, 2012

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille


1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant”
that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.


  • 6 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ tsp. tarragon
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ½ c. sherry wine


Steam all vegetables for 15 minutes. Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with tarragon, pepper, and thyme. Arrange chicken evenly on top of vegetables and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 325 degree oven, covered, for 1 hour. Last 15 minutes, remove cover; add ½ cup sherry wine and bake at 400 degrees. Serves 8.

Nutritional Information

Calories 237; Total Fat 2g; % Fat 8; Cholesterol 66mg; Sodium 180mg


  • 1 1/3 c. onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. water
  • 3 c. fine noodles
  • 2 ¾ c. chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 c. diced, cooked chicken (skin removed)
  • ½ c. sherry
  • 1 c. Homemade Sour Cream (Click HERE for Homemade Sour Cream recipe)
  • ¼ c. sesame seeds


Brown onion in ¼ cup water. Add noodles, chicken stock, lemon peel, and parsley. Bring to boil. Cover and cook slowly over low heat about 20 minutes or until noodles are done. Add sour cream, sherry, and chicken. Top with sesame seeds. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Nutritional Information

Calories 277; Total Fat 5g; % Fat 11; Cholesterol 67mg; Sodium 198mg

Six rules for the best iced tea plus recipes

By Christine Picheca
Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Perfecting your own iced tea recipe means using less sugar than store-bought mix. Here are 6 rules to guarantee a crowd-pleasing iced tea.
Iced tea is a favourite summer sipper and easy to make from scratch. You probably already have everything you need in your cupboards right now to whip up a tasty pitcher of iced tea. All it takes is a few tea bags, water and a bit of sugar and you are on your way. Making iced tea from scratch also lets you control the amount of sugar you use, or you can skip the sugar altogether and just add lemon for a tart, thirst-quenching drink.

1. Use enough tea bags
When foods are served cold, the flavours become dull. A stronger tea - such as Darjeeling, Jasmine or green teas - is necessary to have a well-flavoured tea served cold. Use two tea bags for every 3 cups of water for best results.

2. Don't oversteep

If you prefer your tea stronger, use more tea bags rather than lengthening the steeping time. Allowing tea to overstep brings out the tannins in the tea and can make it bitter. For weaker tea, reduce the steeping time rather than taking away tea bags for better flavour.

3. Add sugar to hot water
If you sweeten your tea, add the sugar to the hot tea in order to dissolve the grains. If you prefer to sweeten your tea afterwards as per each persons taste, use a simple syrup rather than granulated sugar which will leave sugar grains in your glass.

4. Cool before refrigerating
Putting hot tea into a cold fridge will make your tea cloudy. Allow your tea to cool before you refrigerate. If you do end up with cloudy tea, try adding a bit of boiling water to it – it will sometimes do the trick!

5. Keep it real
Don't use artificial lemon juice. Only use real fresh squeezed lemon juice from fresh lemons for the very best flavour.

6. Fresh is best
Iced tea taste best when it is freshly made. Make only what you will drink in two or three days. It's easy to make, so don't worry about having to mix up another batch!

Top secret iced tea ingredient: Sugar syrup
Keep this easy to make sugar syrup on hand to sweeten tea. It combines with cold tea much better than sugar.

In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup (250 mL) each granulated sugar and boiling water until clear and the sugar is dissolved. Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL)

Iced tea recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen