Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cassoulet

I come from a very limited bean background. Baked beans were regular fare, as was chili with kidney beans and ground beef. But I think that was the extent of our bean-eating. I like to joke that with a garden full of yummy veggies and Angus beef (and sometimes homegrown, pastured turkeys) filling the freezer, why would we ever eat beans? So now you know my food heritage. Meat and potatoes, with a side of veggies.

So I had never heard of cassoulet. One of our bean customers shared this recipe, and I thought I'd try it before I posted it. She seems to be one of those gifted, creative cooks who throws together wonderful food dishes on the fly, so I questioned her closely about some of the ingredients. How much? What kind? I purposely did not google cassoulet, as I wanted to use what I had on hand, and didn't want exotic ingredients (like duck?!?) to spoil my enthusiasm.

Here is the recipe as it was given to me. My comments are below...

Soak and cook legumes of choice until tender. Brown crumbled sausage and set aside. Sauté chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Add one jar home canned tomatoes, herbs and spices. Add cooked beans, sausage, and chopped kale. Cook until kale is wilted. Season to taste.

When I questioned her, Cody said she likes to use Creswick Farms' Moroccan lamb sausage. She also said "spices" can include an italian mix--like basil, oregano, parsley--in addition to fennel seed and a bit of cayenne.

I did not measure out the pinto beans that I quick soaked and cooked, but I probably used between one and two cups, dry. I used Eckrich smoked sausage (because that was handy). I chopped a medium sized onion and 3 cloves of garlic. I used the suggested spices, with the exception of fennel seed. Had some celery seed instead and so used a bit of that. I used a pint of home canned tomato "relish", which is chopped tomatoes, onion and assorted peppers. And, since I did not have kale, I substituted turnip greens. I served it with corn bread, because it sounded good to me. The photo below is of the cassoulet before the turnip greens were added:


It was good! I'll definitely make it again. Thanks, Cody!

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