Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ratatouille, Halloumi and Couscous...with a meat-eater's alternative

I don't know about you, but I get cravings for fruit and vegetables....probably the same way that people crave chocolate or chips :) don't get me wrong, I love chips and chocolate, but every now and again I will be aching for some fresh, juicy vegetables too!

This meal is cheap, at around £4.95 for the vegetarian version and £6.15 for the meat option, is easy to make and has great Mediterranean flavours.

For the Ratatouille, I chopped up Aubergine, Peppers, Tomatoes, Courgette, garlic and onion...

And added them to a hot pan with a little oil.

(Five minutes later I added another two or three cloves of garlic, because I am a bit of a garlic fiend, if you haven't already gathered that from my other posts!)

As the vegetables were frying they were starting to get a bit dry and needed some liquid. There were no tins of tomatoes in the house, but since I already had fresh tomatoes in the pan, I mixed half a tube of tomato puree with some cold tap water and made my own, basic, tomato sauce...and added some extra puree for more tomato-flavour :D 

While the vegetables were cooking away and the sauce was reducing down, I fried some sausages for my boyfriend's half of the meal. (I chose Lincolnshire sausages, which were flavoured with thyme, sage and black pepper. My instinct was to buy sausages with garlic, red wine and black pepper - to compliment the French Ratatouille - but I was advised that this might overpower the rest of the meal.)  I also boiled a large glass of water in the large pan, and added a vegetable stock cube when it had boiled.

To the hot stock, I added the same sized glass full of dried Couscous. This is such a great carbohydrate to have with a meal, because it takes no work at all! I just left the pan, with a lid for five minutes, and before serving fluffed the couscous up with a fork. Voila! 

Once the sausages were cooked, I chopped them up, put them in the smaller pan, added half of the Ratatouille and left the pan over a little heat, to keep it hot.

In the same, cleaned, frying pan I added a whole block of chopped Halloumi and fried it over a medium-high heat, with a tiny bit of oil, until it was crispy and golden on one side.

The couscous and halloumi are strong salty flavours, they work well against the sweetness of the Ratatouille, but a few good shakes of ground pepper are really needed to balance out the meal as a whole.

My Mediterranean, vegetarian meal...

...and my boyfriend's meaty version :) 

 Bon appetit :) 

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