$20 Challenge [Summer Ratatouille + Sweet Custard] #dcfarmkt ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 11:21 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , ,    No comments
Welcome to the FOURTH episode of the $20 Challenge!

Again, this week, I was joined by my friend and fellow blogger, Janet Cooper-Bridge of TheArmyMom.com. She helped prep the ingredients and ME, as it's sometimes difficult being ready when the camera starts rolling. Without her, the day could not have been possible. 

Check out her blog as she's chronicled the day and what it's like "on set." If you'd like to play sous chef for a day, email me at niksnacksblog at gmail.com. Put "Sous Chef" in the subject line so I know you're not SPAM!

Watch (and share) the next $20 Challenge HERE

To prove that you can eat locally grown food AND stay within your grocery budget, the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market and the City of Winston-Salem is sponsoring the $20 Challenge twice a month from now through September in 2014. I stage a live cooking demonstration where I prepare a meal that could feed a family of four for no more than $20 using ingredients I buy at the market that day.

DISCLAIMER: All of the recipes I prepare at the Dixie Classic Farmers Market are created that day with little to no prior planning. I use a limited amount of pantry staples that you can purchase at a free-standing retail grocery store and have on-hand at all times.

Flour (all-purpose and self-rising)
Baking powder
White granulated sugar
Brown Sugar
Dijon mustard
White wine vinegar
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Soy sauce
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste

Come to the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market and take your own $20 Challenge. Submissions are rolling in! Email pics and/or video to niksnacksblog at gmail.com

Summer Ratatouille
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup elephant garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup bell peppers, diced
11/2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green tomatoes, diced
2 cups eggplant, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup squash, diced
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, dried
1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
8-10 large basil leaves, fresh salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 2 large skillets over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to each pan. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until they are slightly wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bell peppers to one pan and the eggplant, zucchini and squash to the other. Season both pans with salt and pepper and add Italian seasoning. Stir occasionally and let the water from the vegetables release. Cook for about 12-15 minutes.

The vegetables will begin to caramelize and become fragrant. Combine both pans into one. Deglaze both pans with white wine and add the pan sauce into the pan with all of the vegetables. Add the fresh basil and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 5 minutes more and stir well to blend. Serve either hot or at room temperature.

Custard Sauce with Fresh Blueberries
Makes 2 cups

1 1/2 cups milk or cream
3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint blueberries
Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon butter
fresh mint or basil, for garnish

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. While the milk is heating, whisk the yolks, sugar and flour in a medium non-reactive mixing bowl.

Temper the eggs with the heated milk by slowly adding half of the hot milk slowly into the egg mixture to bring the eggs to the same temperature as the milk. Next, slowly incorporate all of the egg mixture into the saucepan and turn the heat down to low.

Use a high heat spatula to constantly stir the custard to thicken it. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let the mixture boil or it will curdle and you will have scrambled eggs.

After the custard has thickened, take it off heat and if using, add the vanilla and butter. Place a buttered piece of wax paper on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Serve over fresh blueberries and garnish with fresh mint.