April 7, 2008

Bethenny Frankel's Ratatouille

One of my guilty pleasures is a little addiction to reality television. I'm not so much into Idol and Dancing as I am into getting to "know" people and seeing human interaction as caught (and edited) on tape. My favorite Real Housewife of New York City is, of course, Bethenny. Bethenny likes to cook, bet on the ponies, play with her dog and tell it like it is. She has a website here- Bethenny Bakes. I recently clicked on the recipe link and decided on ratatouille, with a few minor adjustments based on the vegetables I had on hand.

1 large eggplant (I used 3 small), cubed
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 spring onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 small ripe tomatoes
toasted pine nuts (as many as you like)
pinch of basil and crushed red pepper (if you like heat)
salt to taste
pepper to taste (I used white pepper)
olive oil

Coat high heat pan with olive oil and add onions. When that gets going and the onions start to turn opaque, add eggplant. Add garlic and zucchini, let it cook for awhile until everything begins to soften. Add tomatoes, and basil, red pepper, salt and pepper.

Let it cook over medium high heat for about 8 more minutes until everything just starts to carmelize. If the ratatouille is your main course, you're finished! It's ready to serve.

I had a pork loin roast to use- and was in the mood for mustard sauce.

1 pork loin roast sliced in half (or two pork tenderloins which they didn't have at Publix)
olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Season pork with kosher salt and pepper, and place in pan coated with olive oil over high heat. Sear on all sides- about 10 minutes.

Cover and turn heat to medium-low and set timer for 20 minutes. Turn a few times during the 20 minutes. Meat should be cooked to an internal temp of 150. Remove from pan and cover loosely with foil.

Reserve juices in pan, and after 5 minutes, add any additional juices from the plate where you put the pork. Heat juices in pan to medium. Add 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of sour cream. Whisk until heated through but do not let it boil.

Slice pork and spoon mustard sauce on top!

The flavor and texture of the pork was perfect- the mustard sauce had zing and spice-exactly what we like. The sauce would also be tasty on beef (if you like mustard, which I happen to love).

Back to Bethenny-- her recipes are tweaked to be healthier versions of classics and to be realisitic recipes we can all make with our busy schedules and available ingredients. The ratatouille was delicious, full flavor and satisfying enough to be a vegetarian main dish. Her recipe did not include highly specific instructions (the recipe calls for 1 large eggplant but does not tell you how to slice it), but that works for some recipes because it gives you the opportunity to tweak things the way your family likes them. For example, I added white pepper and spring onions. I think I will test her lychee martinis next...and the eggs.


JB said...

I love that show Sissy...but she scares me a little.

Anonymous said...

I really am addicted to that show also, and so is chipped ham sam. I agree with the previous comment Bethany is a little scary but not as much as Ramona who is a complete pyscho. Can't wait to see you both this Sat.

Arties32 said...

On come on! Bethenny is the only character who is even close to real. I don't find her scary at at all. I love Jill, too. Ramona is super scary and so tacky- you could argue that it's the way the show is edited, we don't know what came in between.

JB said...

I love Jill and the Countess lady (LuAnn) but Ramona needs her meds tweeked and I don't like the way Bethany talks to Alex.