Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ratatouille--Philippine Style

Pinakbet is a lot like ratatouille, except that in my opinion, it's tastier. My Ilocano grandmother always made hers the traditional way, no sauteeing, just piling the vegetables in a deep pan, drizziling it with fish bagoong--cover and cook until vegetables are tender. I like making mine the modern way. I saute onions, tomatoes and garlic and then I add vegetables. I also like topping mine with chicharon (pork crackling), bagnet (Ilocano version) is still the best but ordinary chicharon will do. Before i work with eggplant and ampalaya, i slice them first and sprinkle a bit of iodized salt, leave them for 5 minutes then rinse. This is to remove the bitterness.

Red Onion, sliced thinly 1 piece
Tomatoes, sliced into wedges 2 pieces
Garlic cloves, minced 8 pieces
Baby eggplants, sliced into quarters lengthwise 5 pieces
Baby ampalaya (bitter gourd), sliced lengthwise 4 pieces
Okra, sliced into half crosswise 10 pieces
Squash, peeled and cubed 100 grams
String beans 100 grams
Canola Oil 2 tablespoons
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bagoong (Shrimp paste) 2 teaspoons
Wash vegetables. Slice amplaya legthwise, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, sprinkle salt and leave for five minutes, rinse. Slice eggplants into quarters and sprinkle with salt, leave for 5 minutes then rinse. Set aside. Peel and slice squash into cubes.
Preheat pan with canola oil, add sliced onions and cook until fragrant and translucent. Add tomatoes (cut into wedges) and continue cooking. When tomatoes have broken down, add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add squash, ampalaya, eggplants, okra and string beans. Cover pan and let cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock (about 1/4 cup) and bagoong. Cover and cook until vegetables have softened around 10 minutes.

No comments: