There’s just ONE DAY left to enter my contest to win a 13-cup KitchenAid food processor with Exact-Slice system. I hope this dish inspires you, if you haven’t already entered. Details of the contest are here.
I’m trying ratatouille three ways to get a feel for this machine. Full disclosure: KitchenAid sent me one to review and one to give away to an Open Kitchen subscriber. While I will be holding onto the food processor when the testing is done, I’m not being paid to write about it, and any opinions expressed here are mine, all mine!
The last dish I tried was Ratatouille and Goat Cheese Phyllo Tart. I used the slicing blade and Exact-Slice external-lever system to turn my veggies into neat discs. This time, I put the multipurpose stainless steel blade to the test, to create a fine dice for Trout and Ratatouille en Papillote. I wanted the veggies to be smaller and lighter, so they didn’t overwhelm the fish, and I wanted to be sure they’d cook well wrapped in parchment paper and baked for a relatively short time.
Setting up the blade is pretty easy, and I like that nothing works unless you have the work bowl cover locked in place, making it a finger-friendly process. One thing I wished was that the cable were longer… I had to bring an extension into the kitchen, as there was not enough space right up close to my electric socket. But otherwise, no complaints. I cut my zucchini, onion, pepper, tomatoes and eggplant into 1-1/2 inch chunks manually, then popped them into the work bowl and switched it on at the low setting, emptying it out between each kind of vegetable, watching carefully to stop the machine when they were the right size. While the end result was not quite perfect little cubes, the pieces were uniform, and all the vegetables were chopped within minutes.
By the way, if you’re new to food processors, read the manual carefully before you get started! (I accidentally made ratatouille gazpacho on my first attempt, because I thought I’d just play it by ear.) There’s a handy chart that lets you know which settings and accessories you should use for different types of foods, when it comes to all the possible actions, such as chopping, mincing, and kneading.
OK. Last reminder: 24 hours left to enter the contest. And without further ado, here’s the recipe!
Trout and Ratatouille en Papillote
1 large filet trout
1 small red onion
1 small green zucchini
3 medium tomatoes
1 Chinese eggplant (or any small, slender type)
1 yellow pepper
3 cloves garlic, garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, cut finely into half slices
Several leaves fresh basil, torn
1. Clean and then pat dry the trout on kitchen paper and place it, skin-side down, in the centre of a large piece of parchment paper in a shallow baking dish.
2. Finely dice the red onion, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and pepper.
3. Salt the eggplant, let it sit around ten minutes, then carefully rinse off any bitter juices with cold water and dry the eggplant on kitchen paper. On medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute eggplant and red onion with herbes de Provence, a few minutes, until onions are translucent. Remove from heat, add the other diced vegetables and garlic, toss together to combine, and then season.
4. On the top of the fleshy side of the trout, lay a row of slightly overlapping lemon slices. Top the remainder of the exposed fish with a light layer of vegetables (Use only as much as you need, and cook any extras in a shallow baking dish, covered in foil). Grind black pepper on top, then add torn basil leaves.
5. Wrap fish carefully, folding paper to create a seal, so no air or juices can escape, leaving some space around the fish. Bake in pre-heated 400 F oven for around 20 minutes, until fish is cooked through and vegetables are cooked in juices. Check seasonings again and serve on a bed of rice.