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.
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.
Stir-fries, what’s not to like?
Rapid cooking over a high heat; that’s how to stir-fry. And, what’s not to like about a stir fry; lots of vegetables, quick cooking with dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.
I’ve been stir-frying for years and still have 3 woks even though I keep trying to give them away to one of my kids; I like using in my 13″ All-Clad skillet; more bottom heat surface and I think even quicker than a wok.
There’s quite a few recipes on RATG using this method; Egg Roll in a Bowl being one of them. If you like egg rolls this is an easy dinner with all the taste of your your favorite Chinese appetizer. Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables, Sichuan Pork Ragu, and my Thai Shrimp and Eggplant Stir-Fry are a few of the others I have posted in the past. What’s great about stir-friy is that all the prep work can be done early in the day or even the day before when makes throwing a meal together even faster.
Jalalpeno Gravy, love at first bite.
On the way to Big Bend National Park back in the Spring we stopped at the Holland Hotel in Alpine, Tx one night and I had chicken fried wild boar with a jalapeño gravy. After arriving in Big Bend we had chicken fried something again. More chicken fried anything than I had eaten in a year. The jalapeño gravy was the best part of the dish and was worth every bite because I knew I’d be making it once we returned home.
So when I called this post Jalapeño Gravy WITH Chicken Fried Pork Tenderloin that is because I love the gravy and you can literally put it on anything chicken fried. I made this when the kids were visiting one weekend and I served it for brunch; but it could easily be a dinner entree with or without the biscuit supporting the pork tenderloin which is pounded out flat, egged, floured and fried and smothered with this wonderful gravy.
The Century restaurant at the hotel had a beautiful little courtyard where we dined. And as usual, I quizzed the waiter about the jalapeño gravy. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the gravy was milk gravy with some jalapeños and a little chili powder to turn it a pinkish color. Anyone who is a fan of milk gravy and know how to make it could figure the recipe out in a minute.
Cute little wrinkled peppers partner with pork butt.
So, even though your name probably isn’t Peter and you haven’t just picked a peck of pickled peppers you don’t know what to do with, keep reading below and I will tell you what to do with the ones you will buy from the market.
I’m sure everyone has had pulled pork. We grew up eating pulled pork bar-b-q and when we first moved to Texas we never saw it on menus — mostly brisket and sausages. Now we see pull pork everywhere.
Have you ever had pepperoncini pork roast? So juicy and tender after cooking for 5-6 hours (oven or slow cooker) it falls apart just looking at it and then whether you put it on top of some homemade mashed potatoes or put it into a flour tortilla shell for a “peppered pork taco” or just eat it as is, you will get the peppery (not too hot) taste of the wrinkled little peppers along with the spices and onions that have almost cooked away to nothing.
I first saw this recipe of Haylie Pomroy (Fast Metabolism Diet) and knew exactly how I wanted to do it. If you want a lot of flavor and a lot of juice, don’t use a pork loin roast. Period. No pork loin, never in my opinion. I use to buy pork loin to cut in pork chops and finally realized that all though there’s no fat/bone, there’s also no flavor. So if I want a pork chop, I’m paying “extra” to get that bone. Just kidding, usually boneless is more expensive but you lose so much in flavor if you aren’t cooking meat on the bone.
A lot less work than making egg rolls.
Still watching those hurricane (Harvey) rains come in and it’s still hot here in Texas, of course, and not that I look for easier things to make, but this is a super quick dish to throw together once you get everything chopped and if you have a mandolin it will save you so much time.
My twin sister and I have been making egg rolls for years. We make bunches of them and freeze so when we are ready to make some good Asian food, the egg rolls are awaiting in the freezer.
I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Crack Slaw or Egg roll in a Bowl and decided to make my own version similar to how we make our Best Egg Rolls. I can’t believe how much easier this is than the hours I have spent making egg rolls. Of course, there is nothing to put in the freezer after this meal; maybe just enough for leftovers the next day.
Quick and easy stir-fry.
This Momofuku inspired recipe comes from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes cookbook, by way of www.foodgal.com by way of my son, Scott.
I’m always getting interesting recipes from Scott to try. Like the 6 day plus salt cured egg yolk or his 24 no knead bread recipe. This particular recipe sounded really interesting to me though because I have follow Momofuku restaurants and David Chang for years. I just love that name and the way it rolls off your tongue — mo – mo- fu- ku. Now how could their food not be interesting and delicious.
The Lucky Beach cookbook has simplified a dish that David Chang serves in his Momofuku Ssam Bar. I always though of a ragu as being Italian and a heavy, hearty meal. The Italian versions of a ragu is a pasta sauce made with ground or minced meat, vegetables and tomatoes and the French style is more like a stew that is made of meat, fish and vegetables. You can eat either on its own or with a starch like a noodle or polenta.
You can teach an old dog new tricks.
I’m not sure about teaching an old DOG a new trick but I certainly can learn to do things a new way. I’m almost embarrassed that I have never cooked cabbage this way. I’m sure everyone will be making (or made) some type of cabbage dish for New Years day. We always have pork belly (fried, or hog jowl), black eyed peas and some kind of cabbage. The green cabbage is for “money” in the new year and good luck.
There are so many ways to eat cabbage, ie. in slaws/coleslaws, mixed in with salads (red and green), cabbage rolls, my egg rolls have cabbage, potatoes colcannon, add it to soups, corn beef and cabbage and of course just a big pot of cooked cabbage.
I’ve always cooked cabbage like my mother and grandmother did; quarter it up, put it in a pot with some water and bacon and boil it to death. Back in the Fall we had dinner at a friend’s house and my friend, Linda, cooked the best cabbage ever. I found out that she never cooks it in water but simply sautés it for 30-40 minutes in a skillet with some onion and then adds in some fried bacon at the end. It was delicious and I could have eaten the whole dish by myself but I had to share.
So, one Sunday night I decided I was going to do a whole head of cabbage and eat it all week long. Instead of bacon, I decided to add some of this Alabama sausage that we buy, brown it first, then add it in at the end. I did flavor the cabbage and onion with some bacon fat that I had left over from making my bacon and eggs post and added a little crushed red pepper even though the sausage was “spicy”.