Monday, April 18, 2016

Ratatouille for my English/Spanish friend Joe!

My friend Joe at a French Quarter garden party we attended. My friend Joe was born in Spain to a Spanish father and English mother. At the age of 8 he moved to England. Joe has had a amazing life, was in a boy rock band and travelled all over. 

Last Spring my English/Spanish friend Joe visited me here in New Orleans. Joe being a vegetarians I could not wait to cook him one of my favorite meatless dishes but with a Creole/Southern twist. Ratatouille (/ˌrætəˈtuːiː/ rat-ə-too-ee; French: [ʁatatuj]) is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, one of my favorite cities in France. Though referred to commonly as ratatouille niçoise, ratatouille is popular among the entire Mediterranean coast as an easy summer dish. It is typically prepared as a stew with each vegetable being sautéed in olive oil. 

My friend Joe at a French Quarter garden party we attended.

My friend Joe at a French Quarter garden party we attended.

Fresh spring vegetables. 

Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. 

Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes.

Add the green peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add Paul Newman's Pasta Sauce and Creole seasonings.  

The finished product! 

Ratatouille is usually served with French bread but I made cornbread to add a Southern flair 

Joe with my good friend Sharon Martin, New Orleans Blues & Jazz singer.

Not a good video but Joe charming use with some Motown. 

Joe checking out my art in a Gallery window on Royal street in the French Quarter. 

Every night we would go out to Karaoke at different local bars, Joe was my secret weapon. He charmed the audience with his English accent and amazing voice.   

 Joe at a French Quarter garden party we attended.

I and Joe at a Antiques auction preview party in New Orleans. 

Drinking beers and looking at the mighty Mississippi river roll by. 


  1. Oh my goodness, isn't Joe the cutest thing :)

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention the ratatouille. I imagine that this stewed vegetable dish changes somewhat from country to country, and from family to family. I have never put mushrooms in, for example, but mushrooms might be a great addition.

  2. Yes Joe is very handsome and cause a sensation everywhere he went in New Orleans. Mushrooms are my favorate part of the ratatouille!