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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ratatouille Inspired

We went to a lovely wine dinner at Binkley's.  Seven courses and seven wines.  Almost everything was magnificent.  I even got VERY brave and downed an oyster on the half shell.  It had blue cheese foam on top so there was extra incentive since blue cheese is one of my favorites.  There was one course that totally fell flat.  He made a deconstructed ratatouille.  It was about the worst stuff I've ever had.  An oily, pretty flavorless broth with a slice of chewy eggplant floating on top.  Yuck.  I went away hungry for the real thing.  The problem was I didn't have the time to make the real thing.  So, I made my own version:

Deconstructed Ratatouille
One large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into four rounds
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1/4 c sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
4 oz goat cheese, preferably a roll, cut into four slices
1 eggplant, peeled, salted, drained and rinsed
2 eggs, beaten
1 c panko
vegetable or olive oil
1/2 c finely shredded romano cheese
1 jar Rao's eggplant marinara

Place the onion slices in a baking dish.  Drizzle them with the olive oil then sprinkle them with the Italian seasoning.  Top with the sundried tomatoes.  Bake for about 20 min at 350.  While the onions are baking, slice the eggplant in rounds about 1/2" thick.  Dip them in the beaten egg then the panko and brown them in the vegetable oil.  When they're nice and brown, remove them from the pan and drain them on paper towels.  Heat the marinara sauce either in the microwave or stovetop.  It should be nicely warm, not hot, hot, hot.  Top the onion slices with a slice of goat cheese and bake for about another 5 minutes. Then, you put it all together... Put a puddle of marinara sauce on each plate.  Put an onion round on the puddle, then top it with a slice of eggplant.  Voila, deconstructed ratatouille that's pretty darned good!


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