Recipe courtesy of Michele Urvater

Ratatouille Seafood Chowder

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Cook: 20 min
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Ingredients

Half of Protean Ratatouille, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seeds

1 cup tomato juice or fish stock

1 1/2 pounds seafood like peeled and deveined shrimp, scallops or monkfish cut into 1inch cubes

Generous handful of chopped Italian parsley leaves.

Salt and pepper

Protean Ratatouille:

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into fine julienne

2 onions, finely sliced

(3 medium size) 2 pounds of egg plant, scrubbed clean

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

28 ounces can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped (or 8 vine ripened tomatoes, peeled and seeded and chopped)

1 teaspoon dried thyme or sprigs of fresh thyme

2 medium zucchini (1 pound), scrubbed clean

2 medium yellow squash (1 pound), scrubbed clean

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. To form a soupier poaching liquid, gently reheat ratatouille with fennel seeds, and tomato juice or fish stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and gently poach seafood until done. Adjust seasoning and add fresh parsley. Spoon into deep dishes and serve with warm crusty French bread with which to sop up the juices.

Protean Ratatouille:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy enamellined casserole. Add peppers and onions and saute for a minute to get them cooking. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer very gently until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Don't let olive oil get too hot or you will change the flavor. While these are cooking, cut eggplant into 3/4inch chunks. When peppers and onions are tender, add the garlic, eggplant, tomatoes and thyme and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. While this is cooking cut zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into halves or quarters, depending on how thick they are. Remove seeds with a spoon, then cut into 3/4 inch lengths. After 30 minutes of stewing eggplant, add zucchini and squash to stew, cover and simmer, over very low heat until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes ( you can simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes for more meltingly tender vegetables). Strain the stew through a sieve and return juices back to casserole. Reduce the juices over medium heat until they begin to sizzle in the olive oil. Return this to the stew, season well to taste with salt and pepper. Divide ratatouille into two portions to proceed.

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