Food Friday: Ratatouille








Peel, Slice and salt to get rid of excess moisture:

2 1/2 cups diced eggplant

Put in a deep skillet:

1/3 cup olive oil

Saute until golden:



¾ cup thinly sliced onions  (red or yellow)

2 cloves garlic


4 thinly sliced green peppers

3 cups zucchini, cut into cubes

2 cups chopped tomatoes

Add the drained eggplant.

Sprinkle the mixture with:

Olive oil















½ teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon basil

Simmer covered over low heat about 45 minutes.

Uncover and continue to heat 15 minutes longer to reduce the mount of liquid
















Salt and fresh pepper

Serve hot or cold with sour cream.


Ratatouille was always a dish we made for New Year’s Eve and ate it along with cheese fondue.  It was a perfect match.  I recommend it.  I have also had it with lamb chops and mashed potatoes and it is delicious.



Food Friday: Zucchini






Potato pancakes were a family favorite in Russia when I lived there.  Russians love their potatoes.  They eat them cold in salads, boiled with meat, and fried.  I made up this recipe to make it a little more interesting.  This can be an entire meal or a side dish.












Zucchini – Potato- Feta Pancakes

1 large zuccini (or two small to medium)  Grated

3 medium potatoes (any kind you happen to have around)  Grated

1 small red onion (I cut a big one in half)  Grated

3/4 cup Feta cheese – You can use either soft or crumbled

2 Eggs

4 Tbsp flour

Salt and Pepper

Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt












You can grate everything by hand but it is much quicker and easier if you have a food processor.  Takes about a minute.














Mix in the eggs, flour, cheese, salt and pepper

Salt would depend on how salty the Feta is, I would taste it first.  I use about 7 turns of black pepper.























Put some oil in a non-stick pan and get it good an hot.  Then put a generous spoonful in the pan and flatten it out.  It will take a while to cook.  Probably about 5 minutes on each side.  Then I put them in a glass place in the oven at 350 degrees F to keep them warm and let them cook a bit more.

Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Enjoy!  За здоровье! (Za zdarov’e!)

Food Friday: Budin Azteca
















Today we land in Mexico.  One of my favorite food places.  This is a layered casserole that is really worth the effort.  Vegetarians can leave the chicken out.  For a variation, use pork instead of chicken.

Budin Azteca  (Aztec Casserole)

2 tablespoons oil

½ cup chopped onion  (125g)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped








Heat up a pan with the oil and cook onion and garlic until transparent.  Watch it so you don’t burn the garlic.


3 cups tomato puree (750g)

1.5 tsp salt

Cook until heated through








To another pan add:

1 tbsp butter

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 small zucchini (courgettes) chopped

Cook a 2-3 minutes and add:

1/3 cup water

Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes until the zucchini is tender.








Prepare and cut into strips:

2 chiles poblanos (roasted, pealed, membranes removed)

If you don’t want to go through the roasting and peeling process, you could buy tinned whole green chiles and use them.








You will also need:

1 cup cooked shredded chicken

1 cup grated manchego, muenster, monterey jack or white cheddar cheese

1 cup (250ml) thick cream (crème fraiche)

corn tortillas – warmed


Oil a large baking dish.

Place a thin layer of vegetables on the bottom

Cover with warmed tortillas (5-6)






Add about half the tomato sauce to cover

Top that with half the remaining vegetables






Then half the chiles

Half cup cream

half the chicken






and half the cheese

Repeat the layers finishing with the cheese on top.

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted (might be a little longer)

Serve with avocado and salad.