I can't remember the last time a movie has made me so happy as Ratatouille did. I think the last movie that had a similar effect was Amelie (cheesy, I know!)
The day after I saw the movie, I had an incredible urge to make, you guessed it, ratatouille. I checked the official Ratatouille website to see if they had a recipe. They didn't, although they do have a daily recipe download, but I wasn't about to make cheese fondue. So I got a recipe from epicurious, but I really wanted to replicate what they did in the movie (to a certain extent anyway). I suppose it was my way of paying homage to Brad Bird and his genius.
So like Remy the rat, I decided to improvise. I ended up frying everything up until it was about 85-90% done, and then I stacked each vegetable neatly on the tomato paste I had spread on a pie plate. I shoved it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (pulling it out 10 minutes in to sprinkle basil on top).
Here are pictures of it before it went into the oven and after it came out.
(If you're wondering what that Paychex envelope is doing there, it's what I wrote the recipe on.)
And, was it good you ask? It was good, but it wasn't mindblowingly transformative that it took me back to a time in my childhood when I remembered having a similar dish.
I was a little disappointed. Just as I was a little disappointed that, although Ratatouille was the number one movie at the box office this weekend, its opening weekend sales were the lowest Pixar has seen since A Bug's Life. How can a movie that's so incredible be predicted to be the lowest total grossing Pixar movie ever? Similarly, how can a recipe that got 3 1/2 forks and a 92% would make it again rating on epicurious be just good and not incredible?
The difference between my ratatouille and Brad Bird's was that while I had high expectations for both, the movie exceeded my expectations enormously. So, the moral of this tale, is to GO WATCH THE MOVIE!
And if you do, I'll keep working on my ratatouille until it's as perfect as the movie.