January 2016 archive

This weekend’s must-make recipe: Cassoulet.

The first time I ate Cassoulet was the summer of 2011 in Toulouse, France with my friend Carla. Our waiter had recommended the local dish with a big glass of wine while we waited for our train destined for Italy. I remember the meal being very rich in flavor and far too heavy for the 30 plus degree weather, this is probably why I have never attempted to recreate it until this week when we were cooped up in our cold apartment watching a snowy blizzard outside our window. 

 

Matt swears it’s one of his top ten meals he’s ever eaten. How can you go wrong? Duck confit, sausages, smoky ham and beans slowly roasted together until a perfect crust is formed on top.

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Cassoulet
Yields 4
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1323 calories
54 g
428 g
64 g
129 g
22 g
674 g
651 g
6 g
0 g
32 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
674g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1323
Calories from Fat 573
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 64g
98%
Saturated Fat 22g
109%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Cholesterol 428mg
143%
Sodium 651mg
27%
Total Carbohydrates 54g
18%
Dietary Fiber 20g
80%
Sugars 6g
Protein 129g
Vitamin A
69%
Vitamin C
22%
Calcium
19%
Iron
94%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 pieces of duck confit
  2. 4 Toulouse sausage (or mild pork sausage)
  3. 1 smoked ham bone or smoked pork ribs (any smoked meat for flavoring)
  4. 300 g dried white beans
  5. 1 carrot, diced
  6. 1 onion, diced
  7. 6 cloves of garlic, smahed
  8. 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  9. 1.5 L beef or pork stock
  10. 1 bouquet garnis
  11. 4 large bay leaves
  12. Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. -Soak the beans in water overnight
  2. -In a pot or pressure cooker boil beans, smoked bone, carrots, onion, stock, bouquet garnis and 2 bay leaves until the beans are tender but not completely cooked.
  3. - Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  4. -In a Dutch oven; place all the ingredients(including the broth from the beans) in layers making sure the top layer is primarily beans. The beans should almost be completely submerged in broth.
  5. -Cook for about 2 hours then increase the oven's temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. -A crust will start to form. Gently submerge the crust in the liquid with a wooden spoon (casser la croûte) and return to oven. Repeat every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours.
  7. - The Cassoulet is ready when a nice thick crust has formed. Remove from oven, cover with lid and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. This is a peasant dish and has many variations like mutton or chicken. Have fun with the recipe!
beta
calories
1323
fat
64g
protein
129g
carbs
54g
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Amalia and Matt's blog http://mattandamalia.com/

Pressure cooker borscht.

Pressure cook: parsley, celery, onions, leeks, carrots, beets, beef (shin), 2 bay leaves, peppercorns and beef or mushroom stock. High pressure for 90 minutes.

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The trick for tender beef is to lightly dredge in flour & salt then fry the meat until brown on each side. Set aside. Cook onions for a few minutes then add all the ingredients back into the pressure cooker, including the meat and stock.  

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Wild mushroom soup.

Simple soup made with onions, garlic, button mushrooms, wild mushrooms (frozen or dried), sherry, oil (for cooking) and mushroom stock. Garnished with sour cream, fresh dill and green onions.

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Oven beef jerky.

I marinated thin slices of top round beef in Asian spices, sugar and soy sauce for 3 days. Next, I laid a thin layer of beef on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil then placed it in my oven set to the lowest temperature. The beef jerky should be ready in 3-4 hours (flip once half way).    

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A few photos of the Docklands museum.

I can honestly say the the Docklands museum is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. The exhibition starts with the history of London and the sugar slavery and ends in modern times. My favorite section was on WW2 and how the docks we affected during the Blitz. Ok, I’m lying, my favorite part was a side exhibition; the Sainsbury Study Centre which documents the history and development of one of the nation’s oldest food retailers, from its foundation in London in 1869 to the present day. Displays showcase the history of Sainsburys, with sections on the Sainsbury family, uniforms, advertising and the development of packaging since 1869!

 

For more info on the Docklands museum visit their website here. DID I MENTION THE MUSEUM IS FREE!?!

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Spice rack of my dreams.

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Bunker.

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Personal bunker for the dockyard employees.

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Steel beams after a bomb explosion.

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Awesome!

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During the Blitz people would leave notes on their doors with forwarding addresses.

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Cashiers at Sainsbury.

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The Docklands.

The Docklands is an area in  the east and southeast London which has been redeveloped principally for commercial and residential use. I love the fancy apartments and beautiful walkways and parks.

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Sir Ian Murray McKellen is part owner of Grapes Pub where we stopping in for a pint and a photo of Gandalf’s stick.

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English pub food! It was kind of gross with the exception of the fries.

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