Friday, August 26, 2011

Ratatouille and Pork Sausage.

I had some homemade pork sausage on hand but not enough for meal for 2. I could have used it in a pasta sauce but since I have so many Oriental eggplants I had to incorporate them somehow. Since it is one of ingredients in French Ratatouille I had decided to improvise something new (I have never seen a recipe similar to what I came up with).
Again, there is not much of a detailed recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Butter ovenproof dish and spread raw pork sausage, store bought is fine, into 1/2” layer.

Next, lay down row of eggplant, than tomatoes, zucchini, followed by white onions, more tomatoes and more eggplant, all sliced. This is basically layer of Ratatouille. The veggies were seasoned with sea salt and about 2 tsp. of “Herbes de Provence”. (To mix your own “Herbes de Provence” I have included recipe at the end of this post.)

Since it didn’t look like there is enough substance I peeled and sliced Yukon potato and covered vegetables with overlapping potato slices. I lightly salted potatoes and sprinkled olive oil on top. In order for vegetables and meat to heat evenly I covered the top with parchment paper and then aluminum foil. (The paper prevents salt from interacting with aluminum and burn holes in the foil.) Place the dish on baking sheet and bake on middle oven rack for 45 minutes

Right from beginning I was going to top the veggies with slices of Provolone cheese so after 45 minutes raise the temperature to 450 °F, remove dish from oven, remove the foil and paper and cover potato slices with layer of cheese. Put back in oven and bake another 15 minutes or till cheese starts to bubble.

To serve, remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut across the rows of vegetables with sharp knife into 2 portions and serve on preheated plates with slices of crusty French baguette.
This is a definite “will-make-again” meal.
Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

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