Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How to ruin ratatouille - courtesy of Delia (again)

Here we go again!  Not content with putting cornflour in her lemon curd and pushing tinned fried onions, she now sest her sights on ruining out of all recognition one of the greatest Mediterranean dishes ever invented - ratatouille.

I shall start at the beginning; what she has here is oven roasted vegetables, not ratatouille. Ratatouille is a very traditonal Mediterranean dish of stewed vegetables - so is done on the top of the stove. It has tomatoes, onions and courgettes in it, garlic, oil and seasoning. There is no need to peel the tomatoes. If stewing the three main veg together, be prepared for it to go a little mushy it's what it does; if you like your vegetables firmer, then stew each separately and then combine. It's one of those dishes that improves from being made the day before and re-heated too.

As for Delia's 'recipe' - modern varieties of aubergine and courgette have had any bitterness bred out of them, even the older varieties are no longer bitter, so no salting and draining is required for the courgettes, and the aubergine if you really must include it. No peppers (they go into pepperonata, a completey different dish, but worthwhile making too), or basil, or God forbid, coriander seeds, crushed or otherwise.

Just saying lol. Rant over, thankyou for your indulgence :)

Quiche - the real deal

Sigh - another one of my bugbears!   The travesties that are wheeled out of the nations' collective ovens or bought in that purport  to be quiches.  Oh dear. Lol.

As you know, I like my food to be right, and not mucked about with - there are very few originals that can be improved on, in my book, and Quiche Lorraine is one of them. Why not go back to basics and give it a go with top quality ingredients - good quality free range bacon, the freshest eggs, the best double cream, freshly ground pepper and sea salt; good , rich  home made pastry, full of good butter and fresh flour. That's  it. No courgettes, no cheese, onions, spring onions, green peppers, tuna, sweetcorn (God forbid -  that stuff haunts me it does!), tomatoes, spinach............  The original quiche Lorraine had no cheese in it, it being an addition that came along later, and an alternative version was made with onions, but under a different name.

So Quiche Lorraine:

5oz white flour, sifted
3 1/2 oz  cold butter, cubed
cold water to mix

4 eggs
approx 200ml of double cream
4 rashers of bacon
freshly ground blackpepper and salt

Make pastry and roll out to line your tin - I use a cake sandwich tin with a loose bottom, to make getting the finished quiche out easier. Chill for ten   minutes or so, then prick lightly a couple of times with a fork and straight into a hot oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut bacon into small pieces and fry hot until cooked through but not crispy. Beat eggs, cream and seasoning together. Remove shell from oven, spread bacon bits over the bottom andpour on the egg custard. Return to oven for 20 - 30 minutes until well risen and golden brown and just set. Leave to cool, serve warm.