Sometimes, the kitchen gets out of control…. the week-end is too busy, there is too much catch-up to do with the cousins and you just happen to forget that stores are closed on Sundays in the countryside….
As I always have vegetables in my storage, what can be missing is meat…. and that can be a real problem in my family as they really are into meat especially red meat!
We also happened to be short of cured ham then I had to think about something new…
As I intended to cook a ratatouille even if it is not the season…. I thought about the Piperades we used to have in the Pays-Basque and it also reminded me that my dad always keep a few hot chorizo in its fridge…. Here we are, it will be easy and definitely new to my family!
A ratatouille with eggs baked on top and pan-fried chorizo slices to bring some heat (only on half of the dish because that chorizo is really hot and I am not sure the teenagers will be that happy about it!).
Ingredients for the ratatouille:
- 2 aubergines, cut into 2-3 cm cubes skin on
- 1 red pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
- 1 green pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
- 3-4 courgettes, cut into 2-3 cm cubes skin on
- 7-8 tomatoes, cut into 6-8 quarters
- 2 onions, cut into 6-8 quarters
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lemon, cut into 2
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- aromatic herbs (oregano, thyme, bay leaves) chopped
Ingredients for the baked eggs and chorizo option:
- 1-1,5 eggs per person
- a chorizo sausage (mild or hot), cut into 2-3 mm slices
Method for the ratatouille:
Clean and prepare all your vegetables as mentioned on the ingredient list.
In a large pot such as the Le Creuset ones, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Start to cook the onions for 2-3 minutes until they get soft then add the peppers and garlic for another 5 minutes and cover.
Add the rest of the ingredients as well as the aromatic herbs, salt and pepper. Place the lemon halves on top and cover. Keep on cooking on medium heat to prevent the vegetables from burning at the bottom of the pot.
From time to time gently stir the vegetables with a wooden spoon, the vegetables release a lot of steam and get cooked in their on juices, the lemon will also release a lot of juice and get soft.
Once the vegetables all get soft, reduce the heat and keep on cooking…. the longer the better.
At that stage, if you only want ratatouille, just check the seasoning and you can serve it straight away with a nice fish, cured ham, roast meat….. you can also serve it cold on a buffet, it is very nice as well with a green salad tossed in French dressing.
Method for the eggs and chorizo option:
Once your ratatouille is ready and still very hot, break as many eggs as you need on top of its surface at equal distance from each other.
Let them cook on low to medium heat.
In a frying pan, fry the chorizo slices and when the eggs are almost ready, pour the chorizo slices all around the egg yolks. Let the dish cook another 2-3 minutes, the chorizo will release some of its flavor.
Bring it straight away to the table in the pot.
Start by serving the eggs and chorizo with some of the ratatouille then once that layer is gone, you can serve some more ratatouille.
What I really like about that recipe is that it makes me feel cosy. It’s still sophisticate enough to forget about the fact that another week is starting the day after with shopping to do and 5 more days to go before the next week-end!
The flavors are here as well as the textures…. soft vegetables, crispy chorizo and melting eggs with that acidic hint brought by the lemon slowly cooked in the middle of the vegetables.
And if you made lots of ratatouille, you have a nice left-over for the following day!