Monday, February 16, 2009

Cassoulet boom!

Boy, I'm checking out the blogs of two sisters-in-law and two other friends and everyone's been traveling. The most exciting thing that's happened to me lately is blowing up my crockpot while learning to make cassoulet.

Here's the story: I was following a slow cooker recipe that called for sauteeing directly on the porcelain insert. I checked the manufacturer's booklet, and it said that it was stove-top safe. Well, they lied. As soon as it got hot, it cracked and made a horrible exploding sound. Fortunately, I had only just begun adding ingredients so the only thing I had to toss was the panko, and I had more of it so there was no need for an extra trip to the grocery store. The only problem was that now I had to make the dish in a regular dutch oven, so I had to alter the recipe. My old trusted "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child came to the rescue.
Cassoulet is really peasant fare. It's made with goose (left over from the production of foie gras), or pork, and sausages, cooked with white beans, tomato sauce and a few other ingredients. It's sort of the French version of pork and beans.

It turned out delicious, but after all the work, I realized it was similar in taste to a white bean soup recipe I make now and again, except that my soup recipe is a lot easier to make. All I need to do next time is add the pork and chorizo sausage, and add a little more thyme . . .

Still, it's been a while since I got to play in the kitchen, and I felt like a sorcerer conjuring up a new potion. It was very cool - especially when the crockpot blew up. Lee was asleep in the recliner and he shot out of the chair like a rocket! The man can still move.

The recipe took literally hours to prepare so here's the best advise if you want to try it:
  • Buy a plane ticket to France
  • Find a restaurant
  • Order the cassoulet and a lovely bottle of wine to go with it
  • Voilà! Enjoy. There's no cleanup with this recipe. And no exploding crockpots.
Not exactly a trip to the Caribbean, but we must try to find excitement where we can.


Angela2932 said...

LOL! Nothing like a good explosion in the kitchen to get the family to Sit Up and Take Notice! I love the idea of a ticket to France for cassoulet . . . and while there could probably have a nice creme brulee as well!

Barb said...

Maria, Put your idea of the white bean soup with the pork, saugages, and etc. in a recipe and enter it in a contest at Central Market. It sounds delicious and easy. I have a friend here that entered a recipe and won 500.00 plus some items from Central Market. You just never know, you might win!