Join Jayni Carey as she continues her culinary journey from Paris to Provence. She’ll prepare classic dishes from Provence, visit with French winemaker Jean Baptiste Meunier and Sommelier Fabrice Langlois, and share more summer vacation photos. Patrick Nichols will join in with French wine recommendations.
On the Menu: Oeufs Cuits avec Salade Chaude aux Epinards (Baked Eggs with Warm Spinach Salad), Gigot d’Agneau Grillé (Grilled Leg of Lamb), Pommes Dauphinoise (Scalloped Potatoes, the French way), Ratatouille (Eggplant and Tomato Casserole) and Fromage Blanc avec Fruits de Saison (Fromage Blanc with Seasonal Fruit).
2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half and half
11/2 cups whipping cream
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/8 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
Peel the potatoes and slice them into 3/8-inch slices using a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer.
Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in a 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Combine the half and half and cream in a 2-cup measure. Pour half of the cream mixture over the potatoes and top with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Top with grated nutmeg, if desired.
Bake the potatoes in a 375 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and the top is lightly browned. Serves 8.
— Recipe by Jayni Carey
4 cups fresh tomatoes, or 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
2 pounds eggplant (2 to 3 medium), rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil, or more if needed
3 medium onions (about 5 cups), cut into 1-inch dice
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and slice into 1/2-inch strips
12 ounces zucchini (2 medium), cut into 1-inch dice
Tomato Sauce: In a large skillet or sauté pan, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and set aside.
Peel the eggplants, if desired. Slice them into 1/2-inch thick slices. Sprinkle the slices lightly with sea salt on both sides and place them on paper towels to drain for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, turning frequently, until soft and golden. (Lower the heat if necessary to prevent burning.) Transfer the onions to a large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in the skillet and add the red pepper and zucchini. Cook, turning frequently, until soft and golden. Add to the onions.
After draining the eggplant slices, dry them with additional paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant cubes in batches and cook until lightly browned. Add more oil as needed. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of vegetables. Toss to combine.
Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant mixture and toss gently to combine. Spoon the mixture into a large casserole and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the ratatouille in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, (do not stir) and continue baking for 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the top is browned and caramelized. Serves 8 to 10.
Tip: To enjoy the complex flavors of ratatouille, allow it to cool for about 30 minutes and serve warm or room temperature.