January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Cassoulet is a two day affair, but well worth it. There are many variations of this dish, but when I saw this particular one, I was intrigued by the spice combinations. Day one was the flavoring and prep of the beans and meat. I used cannellini beans.....
onions had cloves pierced in them...
bouquet garni...
and the usual suspects for flavor; onions, carrots, and celery, and two heads of garlic. There was also a bit of pancetta as well.
In this recipe, you had a choice of lamb or pork for one of the meat ingredients, and mild Italian sausage. The spices were; a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, oregano, and  orange peal, and porcini mushrooms. On the first day, the beans were made, and the meat simmered for two hours . Both batches were cooled then put into the fridge over night for ingredients to marry themselves.
The next day, the meat met the beans, then the garlic cloves were squeezed all over one layer. Back on the stove top to simmer for 40 min. After this it was popped into the oven with bread crumbs on top, to simmer away for another hour and a half.
We had some family friends and family for dinner, and it was such a nice relaxing time, since most of it was completed the day before. Cassoulet is the best kind of party food I think!

I forgot to take a shot of it as it came out of the oven, so you get to see it all dug into.

To finish off the French themed dinner, I made homemade profiteroles. These little gems are so easy to make and fun to eat! We used coffee ice cream, vanilla ice cream, and almond milk "ice cream." All choices were very yummy.

We watched the ball drop, sipped some champagne and kissed our significant others, and now we are all off to a new chapter in our lives, 2013!

Happy new year.

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