Not the time consuming two day project of a traditional cassoulet.
What is a cassoulet you say? Well if you like white beans then let me tell you about this cassoulet. No it isn’t a casserole it’s a slow cooked dish (maybe casserole would be a stretch) that contains meats like bacon, pork sausage, ham, pork skin, duck and can have goose or mutton.
Making a traditional (French) cassoulet would take you a couple of days at least. By the time you make your duck confit and prep everything and then cook for hours the next day, you have invested a lot of time into what you might think is just beans and ham. The first time I we made this (or Paul/Scott made it) we did the confit one day and we used dried beans and not canned beans. It gets stirred during the day while cooking so the crusty top layer gets pushed to the bottom. If you want to see their results look here.
I won’t go into more details in making the tradition version because this Cassoulet Toast is easy. I first saw the recipe at David Lebovitz’s site and was one he had made from Susan Spungen’s book The Open Kitchen. Susan is a cook, food stylist, recipe developer and author. I started following her on Instagram because of her food pictures and now I own her book and can’t wait to try some of her recipes.
Virus inspired weekend breakfast.
(Note: My post may be spaced a little further apart for a few weeks as we are packing and moving to Round Top. Looking forward to many new adventures there.)
Why virus inspired? Well since all this madness started a several months ago I’ve been trying not to waste anything. Normally we don’t like to eat leftovers but even my husband said “lets don’t waste our food”.
Digging through the freezer I found about a cup of chopped ham, some broccoli, had the mushrooms and always have eggs and milk so I whipped this up one weekend morning. Doesn’t every day feel like the weekend?
What are you doing these days for breakfast? Cereal, pancakes, waffles, something fancier. Well now’s the time to try one of my recipes from “morning foods” section. You have nothing but time so give one of them a try and if you do, leave a note (please) in the comment section.
When I made this dish we were in the middle of the pandemic and I was doing a lot of cooking. A few reasons for all the cooking was boredom, we had to eat, had to get some post made in advance of my shoulder surgery, had to cook some meals for the freezer for post surgery, I love to cook anyway, and I am cooking via internet with the grandsons in Chicago (Oliver and Charlie).
Well, we are still the in pandemic, I’m still cooking, I had the shoulder surgery and in physical therapy. And, during all this we listed our house, the first day had 14 people look, 5 offers, accepted one and now in the process of starting to pack up some things to move to Round Top, Texas (population 90) and will start the process of building a house there.
Red grapes with roasted pork?
Several weeks ago before all this sheltering in place started we had dinner with some old (not in age of course) Chevron friends that spend part of their year here and part in Minnesota. It’s always great to catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives.
I loved everything about the meal we had that night, the cocktails (thanks Jane/Tony), the appetizers and just the whole meal. In all my years of cooking I’ve never put grapes in anything I cooked and when I first saw these on our plates I thought they were little stems of cherry tomatoes and to my surprise they were sweet grapes that were delicious with a bite of fork. So the way I ate mine when I made this recipe was to take half a grape (these were huge red grapes I bought) and bite of pork; one delicious bite.
Green beans and ham? No, Beans, Greens and Ham
Happy New Year to everyone out there. Hope you will continue following my blog with a lot of adventure to come this year.
My friend, the other Sherry (Sheri) with an “I” was telling me one day about making kale and beans and after thinking on that all day and looking at a large ham bone in my refrigerator left from Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a try.
I really wanted to use up all that leftover ham before it went to waste. Sometimes our disposal eats pretty well. Too bad we don’t have some pigs in the back yard and then they would be eating all the food I let spoil by not paying attention to what’s in my refrigerator.
I love all pasta recipes.
Most of the time I don’t care if the pasta is real (gluten) or imitation (non-gluten); it’s all about the sauce and other ingredients.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of gluten free pastas and really by the time you put a sauce on it you can’t tell a lot of difference. One thing I did once when I was trying not to eat too much pasta was I made Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts and most of the “pasta” was zucchini noodles and I used about a quarter size of whole wheat pasta. That turned out really good because the real pasta kept the zucchini pasta from going too limp and gave it a little more body for holding the sauce. I will do that one again.
I found this Avocado Pasta recipe at wellplated.com. Not sure how I happened upon this but I’m glad I did. I added some chopped fresh spinach to the skillet because I wanted to make sure there was plenty of vegetables and “green” color; it did the trick.
Smokin’ mushrooms! And have a smokin’ happy Thanksgiving.
On the last leg of Canadian trip this past summer we were in Burlington, VT and I had made reservations at a cool restaurant, The Hen of the Wood in Burlington. Well, I thought it was in Burlington and when we had our Uber driver drop us off there was a sign on the door saying they had had a “fire” and please visit their Waterbury location. I had made reservations at the wrong restaurant (never done that before).
After walking around downtown for a while we settled on Pascolo Ristorante and chose to eat at the bar rather than wait an hour for a table. We love eating at bars if there is something interesting going on that we want to watch. I ordered their delicious smoked mushroom pappardelle pasta with marsala cream, rosemary and truffle oil. Like many restaurant recipes it wasn’t hard to come up with a recipe.
Great for a bunco snack or even dinner.
I love food on a stick. Who doesn’t love a good corndog, ice cream on a stick or even a salad on a stick.
Looking around online I actually found some other “stick” foods I would like to try. Cheesecake pops, caramel apple slices, tater tot skewers and even a pesto shrimp skewer with cauliflower mash (now that sounds good and I better save that before I lose it.) I got distracted on that last recipe and decided to take a look at it; low carb if you use the cauliflower mash but I was thinking how delicious it would be with some good stone ground grits. I will try both ways soon for sure.
Crawfish and wild rice stuffed chicken thigh.
When visiting Missouri last winter my nephew, Todd, made these stuffed chicken thighs full of wild and long grain rice and crawfish. And after smoking on his Big Green Egg (and he has a really big one) smothered them with a creamy crawfish sauce.
Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken. I prefer to buy it on the bone because there’s so much more flavor when they are cooked. This particular time though, I bought boneless and pounded out a little to make them large enough to hold all the filling I wanted to fill them with.
Delicious and healthy too.
Have a garden? Growing zucchini? Have some very large ones you don’t know what to do with? Well, this recipe is for you, and healthy to boot.
If you’ve been looking around my blog for a while you’ve probably noticed that my site is not a “diet” site (and never will be) but neither is it loaded with fat; well maybe some recipes tend to be a little fattening. By what kind of life would this be if we didn’t enjoy good food occasionally.
I have to say that after our trip to Canada this summer I was afraid to get on the scales. We discovered Tim Horton’s chain which has the most delicious donuts and pastries. Then there is all that delicious food we allowed our selves to eat — pates, rillette’s, tea at the Fairmont, more alcohol than I’ve had in a year and desserts every meal; and why not since we were celebrating (again) our 50th wedding anniversary. Oh, I forgot, in Quebec City our hotel left a picnic basket every morning on our door full of pastries, cheeses, fruit and much more. So, after a month being back I decided I’d better weigh and face the music. Even though there was a gain, it was only .02 of a lb. So all that food was more than worth the calories I consumed while traveling.
Another one of those recipes I told you about from vacation.
The most special thing about this recipe, I thought, was the truffled bean puree on the plate. Below is my plate from Sky at Beaches in Turks and Caicos.
The above bean puree is a little thinner than what I used on my plate and the salmon at Sky didn’t have the crunchy coating AND I didn’t have the broccoli and cauliflower. But like I said the truffle bean puree was what got my attention.
I use to keep truffle oil but I never really used it that much except on shoestring french fries (and those are fantastic). I feel like after a year it was old and threw it away and while on a trip somewhere I had purchased a small jar of truffle salt. This worked perfect in the bean puree; just enough truffle flavor without overpowering the dish.
My bean puree should have been a little thinner but since I really liked the flavor I wanted more on my plate. I think it would be much easier to smear on the plate had it been thinner.
Appetizer or main dish? Your choice.
Another tasty appetizer (or entree) I recreated after having it on vacation. And, will Fall just ahead of us this risotto and pork belly dish would make a great appetizer, small plate, or meal.
When were were on our first anniversary trip of the summer at Beaches in Turks and Caicos I had this dish at Sky Restaurant (rooftop) which had such a breathtaking view I could have eaten a bologna sandwich and thought it was the best thing in the world at the moment.
We had dinner there twice; once just the two of us when we first arrived and then after the kids arrived we ate there another night (minus the grand boys). The first night I had to try the crab and avocado appetizer which was delicious and then appetizer for pork belly and butternut squash caught my eye. I could have ordered a second appetizer but I knew the salmon dish was coming and I didn’t want to be so stuffed that I wouldn’t enjoy it.