A new month is here again and it`s time to fly away from Ireland to arrive in France. Before we landed I printed out a passport with a passport cover and some colouring placemats. Lil Mermaid had coloured in the placemat already and together with a book we got from the library we have been exploring France. We will be filling in the passport pages as we cook the dishes through April and then turn them into a little booklet :)
When I thought of France, Ratatouille immediately came into my mind. I have made it many times and as it is a nice healthy dish I thought I would make it once more. Lil Mermaid helped me to chop the veggies and put them into the saucepan.
There is a big variety of Ratatouille recipes but we used a very simple one. We used one aubergine, two medium size courgettes, one very big onion, can of chopped tomatoes, four garlic cloves, red and yellow pepper. So first of all we heated the oil and cooked some garlic and onion about three minutes. We then stirred in the courgettes, peppers and aubergine, and cooked for a further five minutes until lightly coloured. After that we added the tomatoes and herbs, covered and cooked over a low heat for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables were tender, before seasoning and sprinkling with chopped basil.
This time we decided to make a dessert as well and I was really shocked (pleasantly so) to discover that my childhood favourite is very popular in France. We called the dessert ” Snowball Soup” but in France it is called Ile Flottante.
So for Ile Flottante you need 1.5 cups of milk, split vanilla pod, 3 eggs (separated), 115g caster sugar
This is how you can make the “islands” or “snowballs”.
Beat the egg whites in a bowl, with a little pinch of salt, until the eggs have firm peaks.Continue beating the eggs, while slowly adding about 40gr of sugar.The eggs can now be put into boiling water to cook. An alternative is to poach spoonfuls of the egg white mix in the hot milk for 2 minutes, before adding the egg yolks to make the custard. We cooked in boiling water but I think next time we will be using the milk version.
And this is how you can make the custard:
Heat the milk over a low-medium heat, with the vanilla pod, until slightly bubbling, then remove from the heat. In a bowl, mix the egg yolks and 75gr of sugar, then pour on the hot milk and mix well. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, and heat over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. It should not boil during this time. After a few minutes the custard will have thickened, remove the vanilla pod. Put the custard into bowls, and place the islands on top.
And Lil Mermaid decided to decorate her plate :)
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