Monday, August 18, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - Ratatouille

Sorry this post is late, it may not be Friday but I hope you enjoy it all the same!

This week I decided to do some cooking to go with my film.  I recently bought Rachel Khoo's second book 'Little French Kitchen' and found that it contained a recipe for a French 'tian', the dish actually featured in Ratatouille which apparently isn't a real ratatouille at all!  For a proper ratatouille you are meant to cook the vegetables separately before combining them, whereas for a tian you arrange the vegetable slices and bake them all at once.  Anyway from the first time I saw this film I fell in love with the dish as it looks divine, so here is my attempt at a 'tian provençal'.

For five people I used an aubergine, a courgette and around 6 plum tomatoes.  I cut them into thin slices using a mandolin and the slicing attachment on the food processor.

Thinly chop the vegetables
The base is made up of three large onions, diced and fried until soft.  You then cover them with a layer of sliced vegetables.

The onion baseCover the onion base with vegetables

All that's left to do is arrange the sliced vegetables on top.  I decided to arrange them in a repeating, circular pattern, as in the recipe.

Arrange the vegetables
Fill in the centre with the remaining sliced vegetables.

Ready for the oven
Then drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle over some salt and bake in the oven for half an hour or so.

The finished tian
Although the preparation for the tian takes some time, I love the simplicity of this dish and I think this really is captured in the film Ratatouille.  The way Remy talks about flavours is great, how you can take two delicious flavours, combine them and turn them into something even better.  It really sums up what cooking is for me, taking ingredients I love and creating something even more wonderful from them.

Aside from the excellent food the characters are loveable too and the plot is not only funny but really captures the imagination.  When you combine Pixar and Disney with food you really do end up with a match made in heaven.

Ratatouille film cover

My overall rating for this film is 4/5 - I really do love this film
I would give this film a 4/5 for seriousness (where 1 is serious and 5 is lighthearted) as it is after all an animated film centering around a rat who can cook.  However, I do love the fundamental message of the film which is that anyone can cook.
Since food features a lot in this film, from soups to omelettes and of course, the title dish, ratatouille, I am going to give this film a 4/5 on the foodie front.

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