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Unread 10-09-2011, 11:22 AM   #437
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Well - Victoria's Brown Betty has just passed the DH test with flying colours - he thought it was exceptional. Now, he might also have been pretty hungry by then as I was just about to turn the oven on when his mechanic friend arrived to collect the car, so we ended up eating it an hour later than planned. But still - while he always appreciates my cooking he doesn't often go in for superlatives like that .
- I just used windfalls, and just like V said with her Golden Delicious, some were solid and some were mush to make it nice and juicy.
So, looking at the Apple Crisp recipe just above, are Golden Delicious what y'all would normally use as cooking apples over there?

This is what we had for lunch - DH wasn't hungry when he got home, too tired after not much sleep I think, and I wasn't going to waste good steak and chips on him .
This is more or less the version from Anna Thomas' "From Anna's Kitchen" - I think we eat from that book at least once a week. It's a lower fat version than the French original, with a fresh tomato sauce providing most of the cooking liquid.

Ratatouille: six servings as a main diah

I used two small aubergines / eggplants, two courgettes / zucchini, 2 onions, 1 each red and green bell peppers, 4 large tomatoes for the sauce and two at the end, plus some basil, parsley, garlic and a spoonful of balsamic vinegar.
The aubergines, courgettes, onions and peppers were all cut into 1/2" dice. The tomatoes were cut a bit larger.

The tomato sauce was simply 4 large tomatoes skinned and coarsely chopped, and simmered for about half an hour in a little oil with a crushed clove of garlic and some chopped basil till it was reduced.

While I made the sauce I degorgéed the aubergines; in a plastic colander I sprinkled them lightly with salt and left them for half an hour. Originally this was to remove some of the bitterness and excess liquid. A bit like scalding milk being a hangover from when it was really needful, I think that most modern varieties are a lot less bitter then their early predecessors, and personally I don't bother doing it with the courgettes. I do, however, think it helps make the aubergines a bit less absorbent, so I usually do it with them. After this rinse them and pat dry with kitchen towel.

Heat 1 tblsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and a clove or two of crushed garlic, and fry gently for about 7 minutes, till soft. Add the courgettes and aubergines with a little salt and continue to fry gently, stirring well, for another 7 minutes or so. Add the peppers and the tomato sauce, along with some salt as needed, and pepper. Cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. I usually add a bit of water, as I like mine quite moist. Add the tomatoes, chopped basil and parsley and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve.
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