fontas food

eating my way through suburbia

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Over the past several weeks, I've been reading a fair bit about cassoulet on eGullet. Before Christmas, I'd found some local cranberry beans at the farmer's market downtown and used them to make my own version of the classic dish.

I bought some tiger eye beans at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and have tried them in the dish too. Beans have never really been a big hit with me but these varieties are really quite good. Who knew?

At any rate, here's what I did with them today...

First, I put 250g of beans in a pot, covered with cold water, and brought it to a boil. Once it was boiling, I turned the gas off and just let them soak until I was ready to use them. I also blanched some sliced salt pork.

Shortly before 4:00 this afternoon, I drained the beans:

I browned some chicken thighs and got the other ingredients (minced garlic and 125g strained tomatoes) ready:

Once that was all together, I combined it all in my Calphalon pan. When I've made this before, I've used chicken broth (Swanson's low sodium) as my liquid. I felt like Old Mother Hubbard when I went to my cupboard this afternoon and found none there. Instead, I used some red wine and some "potato water" (i.e., water in which I'd boiled potatoes) that I'd saved for making bread.

I covered the pan and put it in the oven (350 F) for about 90 minutes. Then I took the lid off for another 30 minutes to let a crust form.

Here's the final result:

Okay, there's no duck confit, I didn't use flagelot, and I cooked it in a metal pan. I'm calling this my anti-cassoulet.

Whatever you want to call it, it was pretty damn tasty ...

Monday, January 26, 2004

The lemon cheese was a huge hit at the races. Not many people had had it before so it made for a nice change. My contribution for the lunch table on Sunday was Scotch eggs...again, a new food for most of the participants. They were also a big hit. :-)

Nothing too exciting planned food-wise for today. I did see an advert for a recipe contest held by News 10. I might send in something but am not sure exactly what. The main criterion for the contest is that the prep time be 20 minutes or less. Some of the bean dishes I've been making lately are very tasty and good but I'm not sure if they'd qualify for 20 minutes or less, because of the pre-cooking of the beans that is needed.

The deadline isn't for a couple of weeks so I've got time to think of things ...

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I cooked a buffalo chuck roast the other day...Yummy!

After browning it, I added some chopped onions, water, smashed cloves of garlic, and some red wine. After it had simmered on the stove for a couple of hours, I added some baby carrots. The broth made a great gravy.

I'd definitely try this meat again ... maybe next time we'll go for a better cut. The flavour was wonderful; I liked it better than beef.

Today, my task is to make lemon cheese. I plan on taking that to the races this weekend, along with some scones.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

My quest for the last little while has been "what to do with lemons". My tree is loaded!

To that end, eGullet members came through again with some great suggestions. I made two pints of preserved lemons; in a few weeks, I'll use some in a Morroccan-style chicken, lemon, and olive dish. I'm also going to make some more limoncello this year.

But my biggest saviour was one eGulleteer who offered to buy some of the lemons. I'm not selling them but I'll certainly ship him a box for free! What the heck...there are way too many for me to use them all and it beats letting them rot!