Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easy Cassoulet, served with Tossed Salad & Cornbread Muffins

We won't talk about the corn-dogs on Monday...  ;p  *sigh*

SO... TODAY was an adventure in the kitchen. 

Easy Cassoulet
1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, sliced (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
* small can mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 Tablespoons snipped parsley
1 bay leaf
2 15-oz cans navy beans [UNDRAINED]
     *(If you missed this, add another 1/2 cup apple juice and  1/4 cup water)
1/4 cup dry white wine *[apple juice]
Dash ground cloves
* mozzerella cheese

In skillet cook sausage, onion, *(mushrooms) and garlic till meat is lightly browned and onion is tender; drain off fat. Add  ham parsley, and bay leaf; Mix well. Stir in UNDRAINED beans, wine *(apple juice), and cloves. Turn into casserole dish. Bake, covered at 325 for 45 minutes. Uncover, *[This is when I removed the bay leaf, stirred, and topped with mozzarella cheese]  and bake 40-45 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. 

Makes 6 servings

*my adjustments

So I messed up a little with the ORIGINAL recipe of the cassoulet. Yep, first time making this one. Maybe I should pay more attention to the recipe steps BEFORE DOING!  So I learned a while back... when I was trying to eat healthier... to RINSE beans before using them to reduce all the sodium. So I glance at the next item on the list and proceed. THEN I SEE it!! "Stir in UNDRAINED BEANS" GAH! Why couldn't it state UNDRAINED in the ingredients list? Mind you, the recipe calls for WHITE WINE... I substitute Apple juice in this circumstance.  ;p  So I added extra apple juice and a bit of water to replace the liquid.  I also used White Northern Beans instead of Navy Beans... They're pretty interchangeable... Right? ;D  Now I'm ALL about making minor adjustments to my liking... Well, we LIKE mushrooms & CHEESE! [I'm NOT being good right now... So YES! CHEESE! ;p ]  I added a small can of mushrooms and when it was time to remove the lid, I removed bay leaf THEN, stirred topped it with mozzarella cheese. 

I DO have a question about technique!!! After cooking the pork sausage, onion & garlic, the recipe says "Add ham, parsley, and bay leaf; mix well. Stir in UNDRAINED beans, wine (substituted apple juice), and cloves...  Turn into casserole dish... bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 40-45 minutes... stirring occasionally..."

SO... HOW do you MIX well... STIR in more stuff... bake... STIR OCCASIONALLY then REMOVE the BAY LEAF???? So I lightly stirred in the leaf after everything was mixed together before baking. I covered the dish then removed it, stirred and topped with mozzarella and returned it to the oven for the final baking time.

I chopped up some veges and made a tossed salad (Yeah... I didn't use the HEALTHIER lettuce...) and cornbread to serve with it. We had apple juice to drink with it and hubby and I agree that it TOTALLY enhanced it!! Even though I had some mishaps in the process, it was DELICIOUS!! 11 yr old and hubby thoroughly enjoyed it.  YAY!! So, 12 year old refused to even try it "I don't LIKE BEANS!"... I managed to get him to take a bite before all was said and done and he had a sheepish grin and admitted it was good.  STINKER!  ;p
I'll call tonight's adventure a "Blundering SUCCESS" HAH!!  =D

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