Baked Summer Ratatouille
One of the first local recipes we made for the Oregon Food Bank's Eat Local Challenge!
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! You know how fresh air supposedly wears you out? I am pretty sure that’s true, because when we got back from a quick overnight camping trip with our good friends Pete and Aggie (and their little one), I trudged blindly up the stairs, grabbed the soft quilt my mom and grandmother made for us, and a two-hour nap hit me like a blunt object.
When I woke up, I couldn’t move my face very well. I usually think of that as a sign that I’ve slept really hard. Approximately 5.5 hours later, at 9:30 p.m., I went to sleep again.
Not that I am complaining – I more think that it’s funny. The trip wasn’t crazy… just really fun, and relaxing. On Saturday morning, the five of us piled into cars and drove a few hours south. We went on a pretty serious hike (I don’t know the distance just that there were very large hills). We made delicious food outdoors. We drank espresso and beer, but not together. And we played cards, of course!
All in all, a really fun trip. I can’t wait to go back.
This was meal number 1 – a delicious grown-up grilled cheese, created by Pete. So. delicious.
For dinner that night, we had two stews. Pete and Dave assembled foil packets, which were cooked in the coals of the campfire.
It smelled amazing, and the nifty foil trick worked pretty well!
We also had some visitors to our campsite – several times during our campout, in fact.
When it got to be dark, they came even closer – they did remain safely behind our cars, but I could see at least one deer hanging out back there.
We had several sightings, but I’m pretty sure it was this family.
I’m glad that it’s still summer for a bit here in Oregon – we get everything a little bit later than the rest of the country. Hopefully that means that we can get out at least once more this year. We’ll see though, busy times lie ahead.
Here’s Pete’s grilled cheese recipe. For four sandwiches, you will need:
For each sandwich, I put the brie on one side of the bread and layered tomatoes on top of it. Since brie will be very mobile when it’s melted, you don’t need to worry about covering the entire piece of bread. Simply cut the biggest slices you can at about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick and try to cover about 50 percent of the bread’s face. The heat will take care of the rest. We used provolone on top of the tomato layer to glue on the “ceiling” bread.
Melt butter in a skillet on medium or low heat (use 2 Tbsp. at a time) and place two sandwiches in it. Avoid high heat heat so the cheese gets very melty at the same pace that the outside gets a nice browning and can soak up some butter. Flip the sandwiches when the cheese is melted most of the way. The second side will need less time than the first.
Use the second 2 Tbsp. of butter for the second round of sandwiches. We had these melty treats with a big salad. Hence the lovely Kraft bottle in my opening photo… my bad… they all had it and there was nothing I could do.