not much of a movie-goer. I think I have
some sort of brain defect that prevents me from sitting still for long periods
of time while recorded images unfold before me. At the tender age nine I got up in the middle of My Fair Lady and walked home from the theater alone and I’ve been
walking out of movies ever since.
not a particularly interesting fact about me, but it does mean it is just a huge
deal that I saw a movie tonight that I LOVED. I watched it all the way through
and I intend to watch it again and again.
is a wonderful story all about food and redemption, and creativity and art, and
being who true to who you are.
also a cartoon about a rat. It seems that rats have come a long, long way
in the animated world since the days of Mickey Mouse.
movie is Ratatouille, and it is about
Remy the rat who is grossed out by the garbage his (very) extended family likes
to eat. Remy is probably a supertaster,
or at least a supersniffer, and he is called to the art of cooking. But what human would eat a meal prepared by a
rat? In a kind of Cyrano-esque twist, Remy
hides in the toque of Linguini, the hapless dishwasher boy in a fancy Parisian restaurant, and Linguini becomes a star.
story is a lovely one, the scenes of Paris are breathtaking – all aglow and asparkle with the lights of that city – and
the kitchen scenes (on which Thomas Keller consulted) are absolutely perfect.
But please, go see this movie!
and here’s a recipe for ratatouille – not as good as Remy’s, but
pretty damn tasty all the same.
3 medium eggplants, or 1 large globe eggplant, cut
into 1 inch cubes (leave the skin on if you can)
4 medium zucchini or other summer squash, cut into
1 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into large dice
3 bell red bell peppers, seeded and cubed
A basket of sweet cherry tomatoes, or 3-4 medium
tomatoes, cut in half
3-4 cloves of garlic, slivered
3 Tbs chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, thyme)
Preheat oven to 400.
Keeping each kind of vegetable separate from the
others, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper (this really requires getting your
hands oily, but you want each piece coated lightly.) Place on separate baking sheets.
Roast vegetables until soft and beginning to
caramelize, or even char, depending on the vegetable and your preferences. Vegetables will get sweeter as they cook, but
they will burn. Watch closely.
Put tomatoes on a baking sheet, cut side up, stick
with slivers of garlic, salt pepper and drizzle with oil. Roast until beginning to char on edges. If you are not using cherry tomatoes, chop
them up after they are cooked. You can
always make a tomato sauce of the fresh tomatoes and garlic on top of the stove
instead, and add it to the cooked vegetables, but I like the intense sweetness
that comes from roasting.
As each vegetable comes out of the oven, add to a
large mixing bowl. Toss vegetables
gently with chopped herbs, and salt, pepper and vinegar (just a tablespoon or
so) to taste. Refrigerate, preferably
over night for the flavors to come out, and bring to room temperature before
serving. Adjust seasonings to
taste. Serves 6-8, and makes great