Carol Newman from Crofton was searching for a beef ratatouille recipe that she said was in the manual that came with her Sunbeam Le Chef food processor many years ago. She said it was made with thinly sliced beef, eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini.
Barbry Hogue from Bend, Ore., sent in the very recipe Newman was looking for from her copy of the 1979 Sunbeam Le Chef food processor cookbook. She said the booklet is still on her shelf after all these years and that she still uses the food processor.
Clearly, this was a recipe designed for the food processor. All the slicing and dicing can be done with the processor, and that helps make short work of the prep. However, the meat needs to be nearly frozen in order to get it to slice cleanly in the processor. I found it easier to slice the meat by hand with a sharp knife and then use the processor to slice all the vegetables quickly and uniformly. This is a very hearty and tasty dish — just be sure you allow enough cooking time, at least 2 hours, for the meat to get good and tender.
Request: Brenda Stup from Ellicott City would love to have the recipe for the blue cheese pate or terrine that was served at The Kings Contrivance Restaurant in Columbia perhaps 15 or 20 years ago. She said it was served as an appetizer with salad greens and maybe walnuts. She used to order it every time she dined there, but it is no longer on the menu.
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Beef and mushroom ratatouille
Serves 8 to 10
2 1/2 pounds chilled or partially frozen boneless beef shoulder or chuck, sliced in pieces that will fit in food tube opening (approx. 11/2 x 21/2 inches)
1/4 cup oil
3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 zucchinis, ends trimmed
With the slicing disc in position, process strips of beef into slices. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add half the beef slices and brown them on all sides over medium-high heat. Take care not to crowd the pan. Remove the browned slices; add the remaining oil and beef, and brown. Lift the browned meat from pan and set it aside.
With steel cutting blade in place, chop the onions and garlic medium-fine in the food processor. Add them to the drippings in the pan and saute 1 minute. Return the beef to the pan, along with the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Break the tomatoes into chunks with a spoon. Heat beef mixture to boiling then reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 11/2 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
Rinse the mushrooms and cut off the tips of stem ends. With the slicing disc in place, process mushrooms. Peel the eggplant and process with the slicing disc. Process zucchini with the slicing disc. Add mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini to the beef mixture in pan. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.