Friday, September 14, 2007

Thomas and the rat

Returning to the States after a long time away, I'm rediscovering some sweet American delights. Along with eating bagels and a sense of confidence in the postal system, I was a little surprised at how excited I was to sit inside a movie theater again. On a good recommendation, Bowden and I recently spent a rainy afternoon in the theater watching Ratatouille. It's charming, funny, and about good food. What's not to enjoy?

Without trying very hard, I've come across several articles about the movie and the dish lately. One included the recipe Thomas Keller developed for the film, a fancily-plated ratatouille-inspired dish he calls confit byandi. With all the coverage and a recipe in hand, making the dish didn't seem like a very novel idea, but it sure did sound like a tasty one.

At the downtown Indy farmers market, we picked up the ingredients and set to work as soon as we got home. Total cooking time for Keller's recipe exceeds 2 hours so we knew we'd be eating late.

The ony annoying part was trying to peel the roasted peppers per Keller's instructions. After several frustrating minutes and tasting the delicate pepper skins, we decided Keller probably only suggested peeling the poor peppers because he had a commis army to do the deed for him. So the peppers went in peels and all. I don't remember feeling any toothsome pepper skins in the final dish, though next time I will peel the sliced tomatoes that go on top.

We layered the dish just like it looks in the movie and popped it into the oven for a long, slow bake. The result was colorful and savory, though we both agreed that the next night's leftovers were so much better that we'd make it a day ahead on purpose next time.

Cookies were on the dessert menu both nights. Along with the veg, we picked up cookies from Rene's bakery at the farmers market. Between the chocolate chip, toffee, dried apricot & cherry, and molasses ginger, Bowden and agreed on the toffee as a favorite (even though we also agreed that it didn't really taste like toffee). I'm usually partial to Rene's molasses ginger gems embedded with big sugar crystals, but the ginger tasted more like expensive perfume in the particular sample we had that night.

The next night, leftover (and better) confit byaldi was followed by chocolate ginger cookies fresh from the same oven that did the leftover's reheating. Also better a day older, these cookies are one of my favorites to make (and eat).
How do you say "sweet tooth" in French?

~ Corrie


At 9:51 PM, Blogger Paul said...

this is so cool! it does look just like in the movie! i had been wanting to try this, thanks for sharing!

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Ali said...

That picture of statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi in Macerata brought lots of good memories. Viva Marche.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Susan in Italy said...

What gorgeous colors on that baked ratatouille! Have a great time back in the States.


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