Price per crepe: NY $1.35
I'm finding this post hard to write as, in addition to the LBUH still being out of work, my own job just announced an across the board pay cut. We'll be tightening our belts even more around here. (Hmm, at what point does the tightened belt actually become more of a "corset" than a "belt"?) While the news about the economy may still be bad, the smell of this ratatouille in the oven is just amazing.
Yeah, I know, but sometimes, it's the little things.
Served in buckwheat crepes, which are both traditional in French cooking as well as made from healthy buckwheat flour, this yummy vegetable dish is economical, good for you and chic.
For the Crepes:
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour ($4.99 for 2 lb. bag)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (staple)
- 1 2/3 cup milk (NY $0.50)
- 3 eggs (NY $0.55)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted (staple)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (staple)
For the Ratatouille:
- 1 eggplant (NY $3.56)
- 1 zucchini (NY $1.06)
- 1 onion (NY $0.73)
- 1 red pepper (NY $1.97)
- 1 yellow pepper (NY $2.80)
- 4 tomatoes (NY $2.39)
- 8 cloves garlic (NY $0.59 for head)
- 3 tbsps parsley (staple or NY $0.89 for bunch)
- 3 tbsps olive oil (staple)
- Salt (staple)
- Pepper (staple)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme (staple)
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary (staple)
For the Crepes
Whisk all ingredients together, until the batter is smooth. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 2 hours before making crepes. Then move on to making the ratatouille.
Remove batter from fridge, and stir thoroughly.
Heat a small non-stick skillet (or crepe pan, if you have one) on the stove.
Use a small ladle or ¼ cup measuring cup to pour about 3-4 tablespoons batter into the pan. Pour the batter in a small circle, while swirling the pan to rapidly distribute the batter thinly. Its OK if you don't get this right the first time! Concern yourself more with making sure that the batter disperses in a thin, even layer on the pan than with making sure you get a perfectly round crepe. If it looks a little funky, that's just proof that its homemade. Crepes are far tastier when thin than when thick or, worse yet, of uneven thickness. You should get the hang of this after a few trial runs, I promise. You can also just shake the pan back and forth vigorously to even out the batter.
After about a minute, start running a non-stick spatula around the rim of the crepe, sliding it under the center of the crepe once the edges are loosened. Flip the crepe over with the spatula, and continue cooking for a little less than another minute.
Stack cooked crepes on a plate, and repeat with the remaining batter, giving it a quick stir with your ladle or measuring cup as you dip out each new crepe.
If you won't be eating all the crepes at once (and this recipe makes a lot!!), put cooked crepes in foil in the fridge. Rewarm in foil packet in 250-degree oven until warmed through.
Serve crepes at the table with the ratoutille, allow each diner to make their own crepe. Place ratatouille in the center of each crepe, and either roll up like a burrito, or fold one lengthwise and then in half again horizontally. Or allow each diner to just wing it, which is always amusing!
For the Ratatouille:
Prepare and refrigerate crepe batter first.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the onion, zucchini, and tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices. Halve the eggplant lengthwise, then cut into 1/3 inch slices. Seed and core the peppers, then cut into ½ in wide strips. Dice the garlic and chop the parsley, and place in small bowl. Add salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary. Add approx. 3 tbsps olive oil, and stir to combine.
Lay down eggplant in a single layer at bottom or burner-proof casserole. Using fingertips, pick up a small clump of herb mixture. Use herbs to spread olive oil across surface of vegetables, scattering herbs evenly across as you go. Repeat with layers of remaining vegetables, topping each with herb mixture. Arrange top of vegetables in decorative pattern.
Cover casserole with lid, and bake in oven for approximately one hour. Depending on how much water your vegetables give off, your ratatouille may be overly liquidy at this point, or may be done. Vegetables should be tender and cooked through.
If the fluid at the bottom of the dish covers more than about a third of the bottom of the dish, transfer to stove and continue cooking uncovered, for approx. half an hour, or until liquid reduces to be slightly thickened and covers only about the bottom third of the vegetable layers.
Transfer dish to table and allow diners to serve themselves.
|Calories 94.2||Vitamin A 18.3 %||Iron 5.2 %|
|Fat 2.9 g||Vitamin B-12 3.4 %||Magnesium 6.2 %|
|Cholesterol 47.1 mg||Vitamin B-6 8.4 %||Manganese 19.8 %|
|Sodium 119.0 mg||Vitamin C 79.1 %||Niacin 4.7 %|
|Potassium 265.8 mg||Vitamin D 1.6 %||Phosphorus 9.4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 13.7 g||Vitamin E 1.8 %||Riboflavin 7.8 %|
|Fiber 2.5 g||Calcium 5.6 %||Selenium 13.4 %|
|Sugars 0.1 g||Copper 5.4 %||Thiamin 6.2 %|
|Protein 4.4 g||Folate 7.0 %||Zinc 3.8 %|