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08/25/2005

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Do you remove the peel(s) of the eggplant(s) before you cut the flesh into cubes? Also, can you explain to me why "unpeeled" means that the peel is still on whereas "unclothed" means that the clothes are off? In a similar vein, I should very much like to know whether an unpealed bell has been rung.

you know about shakshouka, right? very similar to your ratatouille/egg combo: you saute whole cumin/a few dried hot peppers/lots of garlic/chopped onions/any color peppers you have around/perhaps a chopped zuchinni/then a few big chopped tomatoes, letting it cook into something between a saute and a sauce, and then do the depression-creation/egg cracking/cover to cook routine.

all on top of the stove, and good for breakfast or lunch. moroccan, i'm told, but i know it by way of israel

I do leave the peel on the eggplant. It tastes fine and I feel it makes the end product look a bit more dramatic and also less like undifferentiated mush.

For some reason lately every time someone mentions bells to me, my brain has been piping up to say "a bell is a cup until it is struck," which is the name of an album by Wire but also I think a traditional something or other. I know not what.

I have not heard of shakshouka before. It sounds delicious. I will try it as soon as I have remedied my current tragic lack of garlic.

You will be glad to know that I tried this again and got the eggs right this time, and also more cheese, which was good. I think I will be trying your rataouille soon, as it sounds good and I have never settled on a particular version as my own.

Mr anapestic, sir: As to "unpeeled" and "unclothed": The eggplant has not been peeled. The person has not been clothed. (Unless, of course, they were previously clothed, and then de-clothed.) Eggplants come with peels, people with skin, and clothes must be added later.

PS That Ruth's Kitchen site is wonderful.

Isn't it? It seems so much like the kind of thing that might be full of boring, bland stuff or overly frou-frou recipes, but no, they're great.

Ratatouille with eggs for supper again tonight (preceded by the gazpacho I wrote about above). Good stuff.

I use any or all of the following spices when I make ratatouille, based on a recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. It makes for a spicier curry-type version, and I absolutely love the cinnamon/cardamom taste.
- mustard seeds, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, pepper, chili powder

I was faced with the afore-mentioned late summer glut from my CSA and tried your ratatouille--so glad I did, because I was under the impression that ratatouille was watery and undifferentiated (as you say above) and generally slimy and not that interesting, served wetly over brown rice. I was thrilled to discover that your's was more like a caponata or a relish--intense and sticky and sweetish. I thought that the next time I make, I might go more the Sicilian route, adding some kalamatas and pine nuts, but the Moosewood spice suggestions above sound great too. Thanks for posting such a delicious and versatile dish.

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