Cassoulet (Ann’s North American version)

IMG_2244Cassoulet is the original pork and beans.  Each region in France seems to have their version, goose or duck and whichever sausage the region is known for.  My first taste of cassoulet was from Oyama Sausage.  It had confit of duck, their own sausage, and such a light tomato sauce.  We had it for Christmas lunch, and for many years since it’s been our family’s tradition to have Cassoulet at Christmas.

It is a great dish for large groups of people, as it is easily doubled and tripled.  It rebounds, from being frozen, beautifully, and can be made up to 3 days ahead, just hold off with the crumb topping until you’re ready to bake it.  All that’s needed is a crunchy green winter salad, some rustic bread, and big, bold red wine.  I served it for a 65th birthday last year, and saw many folks going back for thirds!  Not that I haven’t done it myself. Continue reading

Fish & Potato Pie

IMG_1122Today it clouded over for the first time in weeks.  It’s too dark to do barn chores after 7PM.  I think that perhaps autumn is actually arriving.  This dish is a wonderful comfort meal.  The heartiness of the potato crust with the tender, flaky fish, along with fresh spinach, and a lovely cream sauce, is also accompanied by imbedded hard-boiled eggs.  I must admit, I thought about it for many months before I made it.  Everyone who has been served it since has virtually licked their plate clean.  So, after a long day tidying up your garden ready for the winter that will eventually come, enjoy this with a simple side dish of baby peas or green beans.  The onions and carrots could be chopped ahead of time, and the eggs and spinach could be cooked ahead & refrigerated, even by a day, and brought out to come to room temperature before assembly. Continue reading