I’ve always been a “keep everything simple” fan when it comes to cooking,
After all, one can attain any heights with a lot of money and time on hand.
That is the work of epicurean specialists! “Little people” like I, will find more pleasure cooking something simple but with character for cherished company.
Here is very simple dish I recently concocted for fun!
Ingredients (for 2 people):
Small turnips: 6
Small potatoes: 6
Wide rashers of bacon: 6
Fresh rosemary (to taste)
Salt, white pepper (to taste)
Medium-large onion: 1
Shallot: 1 large
Garlic: 2 cloves
Aubergine/egg plant: 1
Red sweet pimento: 1
Yellow sweet pimento: 1
Olive oil: 50cc (a quarter of a cup)
1 lemon juice
Fresh herbs (finely chopped): basil, Italian parsley (to taste)
White wine or Noilly Prat: 50cc (a quarter of a cup)
Pastis/Ricard/Pernod: a “bottle cap”
Salt, pepper, nutmeg (to taste). Add chili pepper or other spices if you wish!
1) Fine Ratatouille:
Chop onion, shallot, aubergine and courgette in small cubes. Cruch garlic cloves and chop fine. Heat up the olive oil in a deep pan. Once oil is hot enough drop in all the above chopped vegetables and fry, stirring regularly, until onions become translucent. Turn down fire to low. Drop in chopped pimentos, chopped herbs, lemon juice, wine, Pastis, salt, pepper, nutmeg and whatever spices. Stir the whole, cover with lid and let cook until all vegetables are sufficiently soft.
This can prepared well in advance as reheated ratatouille is even better! Don’t worry if you have made too much of it as this can be used for all kinds of dishes such as omelette garnish, on cold crostini, and so on!
2) Boil potatoes in salted water until they are 80% cooked. Take them out of the water and plunge them in cold water for a while. This is a simple trick to prevent them from breaking up later! Put them on a cloth or kitchen paper to absorb water.
3) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (level 6/7)
Peel potatoes. If they are new with a very thin skin, do not bother peeling them! Wrap each one in rasher of bacon. Secure the bacon around the potato by skewering them with a thin wooden toothpick. Place them on an oven plate coated with olive oil. Sprinkle a little pepper on them. Salt is not needed as plenty is contained inside bacon! Abundantly sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Bake until bacon has reached a nice crispy state.
4) Peel turnips and cut into four wedges each, leaving a little of the stem for good effect.
Boil them in slighted salted water just long enough for them to get tender. This should not take very long. Bear in mind that over-boiled turnips will get mushy and crumble away!
5) Once the potatoes are cooked, on a large plate you have kept hot either in hot water or inside the oven, first pour a good amount of ratatouille in the middle. Then place turnips around as shown on picture. Last, carefully pull toothpicks out of the potatoes and place the latter above the ratatouille.
Enjoy with a great beer or strong white wine (red wine is fine, too. LOL)