Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New take on an old dish... and a new do.

New take on an old dish...

Monday the 14th, was Bastille Day, and I mentioned earlier that I would be trying a second recipe using cherries as I usually do for that day, and that I would post the recipe if I liked it as much as the Cherry Cake I made right before, Bastille Day . I did not make that cake, in fact I skipped dessert entirely that day. I did make a dish that is an interesting and delicious twist on an old French favorite. Ratatouille, is a French dish that is in it's simplest form, stewed vegetables. It is very common in the summer as it uses plenty of fresh summer produce. It is associated with country or Provencal cuisine rather than Parisian. There are a number of recipes available that convert this country fare into city dining, simply by adjusting the herbs, perhaps adding mushrooms, and the way it is assembled and presented. But, it is all yummy & healthy, Ratatouille.

Most recipes saute and then stew the vegetables together. I prefer to gently saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in olive oil and freshly chopped garlic. The remainder of vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and all of the seasoning of which I use plenty of Herbes de Provence and more garlic, I simmer into a sauce. I then layer the sauteed eggplant, zucchini and sauce just as you would lasagna. On occasion, I do saute and then lay the eggplant and zucchini out in a swirl, in a quiche dish and then pour the sauce over and bake. But this year I tried something new. Quiche is French, and Jon, likes quiche. He certainly likes quiche better than a plate full of stewed vegetables, so I decided to tweak the Ratatouille experience this year.

Quiche: a non~sweet pastry crust shell with a savory custard filling made from heavy cream, eggs, cheese, seasonings and any vegetable or meat~seafood of your choice. My personal definition.

Ratatouille Quiche

Your favorite non~sweet pastry crust, enough for a 9~ inch dish
3/4 pound Italian sausage ( I use turkey Italian sausage links and remove from casing)
2 cups peeled and diced eggplant
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup peeled and diced tomato
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or...
equal parts, 1/2 teaspoon each of Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream or milk

Preheat oven to 325°.
Line a 9~inch quiche dish or pie plate with pastry. Using a fork make just a few holes on the bottom and sides of your pastry shell.
Bake shell for 3~4 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Remove shell from oven and prick a few more times on both bottom and side.
Bake 6~7 minutes longer.

Brown and cook sausage until done and crumbled. Drain well.
Combine and mix well the sausage with eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cheeses and seasonings.
Pour into pastry shell.
Whip eggs and cream together. I use my blender.
Pour over sausage and vegetable mixture.
Bake at 325°
325° for 55~65 minutes or until set.
Let stand 10~15 minutes before cutting.

Due to the high water content of the vegetables, you must bake the pastry shell first. Normally, you bake quiche pastry with the filling and only once. You will have an ooey gooey crust if you skip this step.

Serve with an heated crusty bread loaf.

Bon Apetite!

Kim, over at NannyKim's Recipes tried this and said it was the best quiche she had ever tasted. Wow! Thanks for the compliment, Kim. She did go crust~less for hers. Here is her post on the quiche.

and a new do.

I also mentioned that I would be trying a new hair stylist on this particular Monday, Bastille Day. I was in desperate need of a trim... no, I was in desperate need of an hair cut. Finding someone in a new town can be tricky and somewhat scary. So, I did what I figured was the safest thing to do. Selecting women that consistently had smart hair, I inquired at church regarding who I might want to make an appointment with.

These pictures reflect my choice of stylist and the work he did. I love this cut. It is so versatile. I can go casual, very dressy, semi~up, and is so incredibly easy to maintain. Even sloppy it looks good. This gentleman was highly recommended, and I will be one of those recommending him in the future.

We had never met he and I, but he knew I had been referred by ladies at church. So after we discussed hair styles, we began to talk about church, how it was I had moved here, his experiences with family leaving the area, and how he got started in the hair business. He told me he was an accountant, and this was suppose to only be part time. He got into the hair business as a hobby really because he just enjoyed it. He told me how he has had to cut back his accounting hours because the stylist work was growing so quickly. Just about the time he took a significant chunk off of my hair, in a highly visible and crucial spot, he dropped the how much he enjoyed "BARBER SCHOOL" bomb. I am not sure just how much Barbering School has changed since I went to Cosmotology School in the late 1970's, but at that moment I was very interested in finding that out. As it turned out, Barbering has come a long way. Without getting on some state/gov web site, I see very little difference, and this guy was good with all types of scissors, chose my style for me, and I am very happy and impressed with how fast he cut and styled a wonderful new do. It is so versatile! Oh, I already said that didn't I?


Mary said...

Cute new do!

And I'm salivating looking at the pic of the quiche. Going to copy this recipe and try it when the whole gang is around - sooner than later, I hope.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Very nice hair and so shiny Teresa, was he cheaper being a barber!?

Teresa said...

Mary ~ Thank you, I am enjoying the simplicity of care and the new look. You will like the quiche, I think.

Sarah ~ I do not know what a good cosmetologists charges in this area as this was my first experience having my hair done here in, Okie~land. I was delighted at what he did charge. He charged $25.00. How does that compare, do you know?

Kim said...

That dish looks delicious! Robert hates eggplant. I wonder if he'd notice? Your do is adorable! So cute and bouncy-looking! Mine used to be bouncy. Now it's looooong.

nannykim said...

Really cute hair!! Oh and I love the recipe. I will have to try a gluten free version. I usually can make quiche type dishes without the crust and they come out fine--this would sounds wonderful!! I needed something to do with my eggplants!!

nannykim said...

Hi again--I want to try the recipe for the quiche tonight (without the crust) --but had a question--hope you get this before I cook it!!--do you need to saute the veggies first or put them in raw?

My email thingy was working so I also emailed you and you can email me back with the answer.

Teresa said...

Nannykim~I throw them in raw. If you make the quiche, please let me know how you like it. I have thought about salting the eggplant and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes just to sweat some of the moisture out, but have never done it and it is not really necessary.

Barbara said...

I like your hair style very much.