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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Anniversary Cassoulet

Five years ago, I started my blog with the introduction of a cassoulet recipe. So here we are again with my anniversary cassoulet, a marvelous hearty mix of duck, duck sausage and white beans! Saveur magazine came through with a fabulous recipe that I had never tried for a different cassoulet in celebration. Japanese panko bread crumbs stepped in for regular bread crumbs--and I did not make my own duck confit although I have created a fantastic shortcut that I find to be as good as any other recipe, with the benefit naturally of being less time consuming (instructions found here alongside a harrowing dinner tale!).

The process began on Monday evening and the meal rested in the refrigerator for two days. The Le Creuset cast-iron cassoulet dish was brought to room temperature and shortly before our guests arrived, the dish was heated up while the duck was sliced thinly and then baked with it. Bottles of rich, robust Cotes Du Rhone reds were absolutely perfect to consume with our cassoulet--and dried antique hydrangeas, a vase of white roses perched atop an illumined vintage cake stand flanked by brass candlesticks with white candles made for a stunning centerpiece. 

Thanks to folks for reading!

Here's what was on the menu:

To Sip
Veuve Cliquot
Cotes Du Rhone
Cotes Du Rhone-Villages

To Snack
Green Grapes
Salted Smokehouse Almonds
Farm-ish, Sheepy Roncal Medium-Soft Cheese

To Sup
Green Beans Almondine
Cassoulet au Canard--White Bean and Duck Casserole!

To Sweet
Chocolate Bread Pudding

Soundtrack: C'est Chic! French Girl Singers of the 1960's; Paris Combo, Living Room; Serge Gainsbourg, Couleur Cafe; Diva, movie soundtrack; Pizzicato Five, Made in USA 

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