“Bloody Mary” Ratatouille.

IMG_2722

There are lots of very complicated recipes for this style of Ratatouille. The Thomas Keller one is excellent and if you can get your hands on that you won’t be disappointed, but I wanted to so a simpler version, that was easier and had a lot less steps and took a lot less time to make. The Bloody Mary spin is my own idea. It’s a tomato sauce base made from tomato juice, spiked with celery salt, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce. Feel free to doctor that up anyway you wish. (Or you can even mess around with a store-bought Bloody Mary Mix if you would like!) You’ll need a mandolin to make slicing these quick and easy, and a shallow pie tin covered with parchment. You’ll also need some tin foil to cover the ratatouille for baking. This recipe requires a lot of oven time, that’s why it’s best for end of Summer, early September, when temps have cooled but produce is at it’s peak. 

———–

You’ll need 2 large Green Zucchini, 2 long but firm Chinese Eggplants, 4 Roma Tomatoes. It’s really important that they are all similar in widths. Also purchase 1 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, (I liked the Orange best for color.) Using a mandolin slice all into coins thickness of about 1/8 or 1/16 inch. The bell pepper you can’t mandolin into coins so I just sliced it into strips. You’ll layer the strips when you assemble the dish.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place 2 cups of canned Tomato Juice (like Sacramento) into a saucepan, with 1 teaspoon of Celery Salt, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon of prepared Horseradish, 1 teaspoon of Hot Sauce, (if you like it hotter, kick it up a notch!) A big pinch of Salt, a few turns from a freshly ground Pepper Mill. Taste. Add more hot sauce or horseradish accordingly to your liking. It should taste a little bit salty and rich. (It has accommodate a lot of veg!) Bring liquid mixture to boil, reduce to simmer, and stir occasionally until mixture is reduced to at least half and quite thick. (20-30 mins, at least.)

Place tomato liquid in shallow pie container or ceramic pie dish. (I like to put a parchment sheet on top of my pie tin, but it’s not mandatory.) The tomato liquid will help the coins sit in the pattern neatly and easily. Arrange coins in a circular pattern, alternating between eggplant, zucchini, tomato and bell pepper until covered. This should take you about 7 minutes. Don’t stress. Just be deliberate and keep moving. The point is to keep them as upright as possible and don’t worry if they’re not perfect. You will have some leftover ‘coins’ so if you don’t use all of them up, don’t worry. Season lightly with Salt and Pepper. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake in a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. Then uncover and bake for an additional half hour or until brown and caramelized. Watch that it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle with fresh Basil before serving. (Optional.) Serves 6-8 as a side dish, or appetizer.

Notes:
-Leftover unbaked coins of eggplant, tomato, and zucchini can we reduced down in tomato juice at a later date and served as a side dish to grilled chicken or salmon. Or as a breakfast dish with poached eggs.
-Make sure you use firm, fresh, eggplant. Soft, withered or old eggplant will be hard to slice in the Mandolin.

To see a video on how to make this, check out my Instagram. Video by @tarasgroi 

 

Easy American Berry Pie for July 4th

Dimity_americanpie

An easy pie prefect for July 4th: You basically cut, fill, crimp and bake.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. To make it easy I used 2 rounds of already rolled out sheets of store-bought short crust dough. (Or you can use your own home-made short crust dough, note: Puff Pastry will not work for this). You’ll need a small punnet of Strawberries, diced in half and some into quarters. A small punnet of Blueberries. Keep both separate. Toss each separate bowl of berries with granulated sugar, (you should use as much as you want according to your taste, I used about 1-2 tablespoons) and little bit (I used a teaspoon) of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt, for each. Lay down one round of dough on a 9-inch pie dish. Using the second dough round, cut out stars using a cookie cutter. (See illustration.) Lay wedge of dough on top, stuffing blueberries underneath. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes, so berries have a chance to ‘meld’ or stick to dough and won’t run or escape, giving you a neat edge to fill in the strawberries. Fill rest of pie with Strawberry mixture and place strips on top. Cut off and crimp edges of the pastry simply with a fork. Press demerera sugar into the pastry, bake at 350 degree oven for 30-50 mins till pastry is golden brown and fruit is bubbly and the room smells fragrant. Serve warm with cold Vanilla Ice-cream or Low-fat Gelato in a flavor of your choosing. Happy Independence Day!

berry pie illo

Dimity_Jones_americanpie

Easy American Pie, with Raspberry and Cream Gelato from Talenti.

Photographs by Aaron Graubart 
Concept, Recipe and Illustration by Dimity Jones. 

Recipe: Rhubarb & Orange ‘Chevron’ Galette

IMG_2591

IMG_4929

RHUBARB & ORANGE ‘CHEVRON’ Galette
Recipe: Dimity Jones.
Click on link above for video by Tara Sgroi. Check out her fabulous work, here. 

—————–

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Rhubarb: Prepare the 1 lb (or 4-6 sticks) of Rhubarb. Try to purchase rhubarb of differing shades, which makes the pie pretty, but the pie will come together best if the stalks are of similar thickness. (Depending on the thickness of the stalks, you may need only 4 sticks, but I’ve also tried it with thinner stalks and I needed 6.)

To Prepare: Trim off stalk ends. Cut the stalks diagonally, keeping them all the same size, (about an inch and a half long, or shorter if you want a tighter ‘knitted’ look) then slice down the middle, giving you a flat surface on either side of the Rhubarb.

Place all the Rhubarb pieces in a bowl and add the zest (or 1 tablespoon), and the juice of (at least 4 tablespoons) of one Medium-large, very ripe Orange. Add to the bowl 1 quarter cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of all purpose flour. Toss to coat. Let the rhubarb sit in the bowl for at least 10 minutes, or until you are ready to start placing the pieces in a pattern.

Dough: Roll out pie dough on a lined baking sheet. I’m a fan of the tried and tested Pate Brisee shortcrust dough, from Martha Stewart, (which is a ratio of 2 and a half cups of flour to 2 sticks of butter, plus sugar, plus salt.) Click here to get the recipe. 

Spread dough with a layer of Orange-Apricot Marmalade (I love Sarabeth’s Kitchens brand, which is readily available. It is a sweeter version of Marmalade, which is what you want, as it pairs well with the naturally tart Rhubarb,) leaving about an inch and a half around the edges.

Mix and match Rhubarb ’tiles’ into a Chevron pattern, until Marmalade surface is completely covered. (Or any pattern you desire. Play around!) Mix up the tones of the rhubarb to get a pretty effect. Tuck stray marmalade pieces between the cracks.

Fold up the pastry edges, (cut off any overhanging rhubarb so pastry can fold over), and crimp slightly. Sprinkle and then press pastry edges with Demerera Sugar.

Place in 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and Rhubarb is soft to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack. Serves with vanilla ice-cream, cream or traditional custard. Serves 8, (at least.)

Notes: The leftover Orange Juice/zest liquid and any rhubarb can be heated down to make Rhubarb sauce to serve at another time with Oatmeal for breakfast or later with Ice-cream as a dessert.

Rhubarb & Orange “Chevron” Galette

Rhubarb Pie

I started cutting sticks of Rhubarb into neat, angled wedges to form a chevron pattern, then kept going, in fact, …I couldn’t stop until I completed the entire surface in about 7 minutes flat. What emerged was something that looked almost like knitting. Almost like I’d knitted a ‘rhubarb’ sweater… with a distinct “Chevron” pattern. The pastry recipe is from @MarthaStewart It’s her Pate Brisee. Which is always a great pastry to house a fruit pie. The galette was for my mother, who turned 77 on Monday. Happy Birthday Mum! x

Simple Raspberry Pudding with shredded Coconut and Pistachios.

IMG_2243

Good morning! After shooing my Australian guests onto a train to DC, I sat down to a simple Raspberry Porridge with shredded Coconut and Pistachio. You don’t need to add any sugar to the stewed Raspberries, because you can add it in the way of sweetened toppings to suit… Honey, diced Apple, etc, so it’s basically 2 ingredients: Raspberries + Cream of Wheat, and then toppings.

Recipe was inspired by My Blue & White Kitchen’s recipe for Whipped Cranberry Porridge. It’s too early in the season for us to get Cranberries here, so I substituted frozen Raspberries.

Recipe: 1 and a half cups of water with 1 cup of frozen Raspberries boil for 10 min. (I did not add Sugar, but you could at this stage should you wish. I found my chosen toppings had enough Sugar, to balance the inherit tartness of the raspberries.) Whisk in 3 tablespoons of Farina (Cream of Wheat) and stir constantly over simmer till mixture thickens. Cool. (Alas, I did not ‘whip’ the porridge, per the original recipe because I did not have the time this morning, so mine is not as ‘pink’ as it possibly could be… I will try to do that next time) Add Milk, or your choice of Nut Milk, and any toppings you wish. I used shredded Sweetened Coconut, and Pistachios, but you could add Yogurt, diced Apples, Raisins, zested Orange, Walnuts, or other Dried Fruit, Honey, or Agave if you wish. It’s up to you! Serves 2-3.

 

 

Pan-Roasted Romesco with Sultanas, Tahini and Sumac.

IMG_1013Inspiration for what I cook at home, comes from many places. This recipe from the new Gjelina Restaurant Cookbook, based in Venice, California: Lemon-y Tahini and Garlic Dressing over Pan-Roasted Romesco Cauliflower, with sweet Sultanas and a huge sprinkling of Sumac. The recipe in the cookbook called for Golden Raisins but I didn’t have any so I used regular Sultana’s and it was perfectly fine. To pick up the Cookbook to get this, and other recipes. Click here.
(Photo: Dimity Jones)