Mastering the Art of College Cooking

This year, I’m making some big changes. I am hoping that by ridding myself of the toxic things in my life and adding some positives, I will become more of the person I want to be. One of those changes is in the area of cooking. I LOVE to cook. Unfortunately, I have been avoiding things that I love, so one of my many resolutions for 2010 is to become a better cook.

To start off my newly redesigned eating habits, I made a fresh from France dish that Mariah (my roommate) picked up from her host mom while studying abroad there last year. To begin, here is the ingredient list:

6 peppers (a mix of green, red and yellow is best– diced)

4 zucchinis (peeled and cut into rounds)

1/2 sweet white onion (diced)

2 large eggplants (peeled and diced)

4 bulbs fresh garlic (peeled but not diced)

3-4 roma tomatoes (diced)

1 cup water

salt

fresh pepper

olive oil (2 turns of the pot)

sunflower oil (at least 20 oz.)

Begin by rinsing and chopping up all vegetables.

In a large (very large) skillet, coat the bottom with sunflower oil and add peppers. Sprinkle salt and pepper over peppers. Fry until slightly soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove peppers and place in a large high-sided pot. Fry zucchini and onions together in the skillet. Add salt and pepper. When zucchini is slightly soft, transfer with slotted spoon to the pot with peppers. Repeat this process with the eggplant. (Note: Eggplant will soak up all the oil in the pan and then release some of it right before it is finished cooking.)

Add the eggplants to the high-sided pot with the other vegetables. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Sprinkle in another few pinches of salt and pepper. Add garlic, whole, to the pot and cover. Simmer on medium-high for 30 min. Just before serving, add 2 turns of olive oil to give it a final touch of flavor.

Serve immediately with a whole bunch of fresh, delicious French bread!

Ratatouille is a perfect winter meal for a few reasons. First, it is considered a comfort food in the Provencal region of France and warms you body and soul. Second, it freezes and stores easily so you can make large batches and use it throughout the season. When you want another round, simply pop a bowl of it into a pan to reheat, or even easier, nuke it. And the third reason… It is just that good.

Note: All ingredients bought at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market.

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27 January 2010. Tags: , , , , . Europe, Food and Recipes.

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