dimanche 26 août 2007

Rotini with Brie and Tomatoes

It has been a beautiful summer weekend here in Nittel. The local diving club held their annual swim party last evening. Several of the divers and friends swam a section of the Moselle stopping for refreshments at conveniently located rafts along the way. It was lovely to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather and meeting the friendly people from the village.

Summer also brings tomatoes that are really tomatoes and not just the red globes that try to pass for them the rest of the year. This is a pasta dish that I dream of until this time of year. Every time it comes out a little different depending on the ripeness of the brie, the flavour of the tomatoes and the aroma of the basil

Rotini with Brie and Tomatoes

500 g (1 lb) rotini
75 mL (5 Tbsp) olive oil
375 g (12 oz) Brie, rind removed
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
125 mL (1/2 cup) Basil leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut brie into cubes. Pour olive oil into a large bowl; add brie and toss to mix. Let sit at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
Cook rotini until al dente. Drain and immediately add to brie. Add tomatoes, basil and pepper. Mix well and serve.

dimanche 19 août 2007

Ratatouille - barbecue style

Ratatouille is a French Provençal dish that originated in Nice. Mediterranean vegetables eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes are traditionally cooked individually to ensure the proper cooking times for each, then assembled to let the flavours blend. It is similar to the Italian caponata and can be served as a meal with bread or rice or as a side dish to accompany fish or meat.
This quick and easy version cooks all the vegetables together in foil over the barbecue. It takes ½ hour to make, tastes delicious and there are no messy pans to clean up!

Ratatouille – barbecue style
Serves 6

1 eggplant, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) cubes
2 zucchini (courgettes), sliced
1 red pepper, cut in squares
1 green pepper, cut in squares
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped*
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil
60 mL (2 Tbsp) fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
5 mL (1 tsp) herbes de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper

Place eggplant cubes into a bowl; sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant under cold water, pat dry with paper towel.
Place eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and onion on a large square of heavy foil. Combine other ingredients and pour over vegetables. Seal the foil with a double fold. Place on grill (approx. 10 cm / 4 in. above coals) and cook for 30 min. or until vegetables are tender.

*Add 15 mL (1 Tbsp) of tomato paste if the tomatoes lack flavour.

dimanche 5 août 2007

Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops

I have moved out of my fabulous Paris apartment and have traded the view of La Tour Eiffel for veiws of the Moselle River. We are having a beautiful summer weekend in Nittel on the German side of the border from Luxembourg so a barbecue is on the menu for tonight!

Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops

Serves 6

12 lamb loin chops

250 mL (1 cup) dry red wine
125 mL (½ cup) olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 mL (1 Tbsp) fresh rosemary, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

Place lamb in a shallow pan.
Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over lamb. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for several hours, turning the meat occasionally.
Remove lamb from marinade and grill over medium-hot coals until desired doneness, basting frequently with the marinade.

Serve with grilled new potatoes and salad.