Recipe Saturday: Quick Cassoulet

Each Saturday I intend to post a new recipe we’ve tried recently (and liked of course, unless you want me to share the bad ones too)or to share a staple in our family’s meal repertoire.  While we love our “usuals”, I do want to regularly try new recipes to not only discover new favorites and keep it fresh but also to get our kids (and Chad, for that matter) to try new foods and new cuisines.  Plus if I only posted staples you’d quickly tire of Mexican.  Because it’s probably 70% of what we eat. 

Today I want to share a recipe I found at Allrecipes.  If you’ve never used Allrecipes before I highly recommend it.  I love that the users rate the recipes and provide reviews.  Sometimes the commentary in the reviews can help make that recipe even better!  I’ve used Allrecipes for countless recipes, although often I’ve tweaked them to fit our tastes.

This week we tried a cassoulet.  A  cassoulet is a French bean stew or casserole.  We had this with steamed/sauteed green beans and homemade French bread.  Yes, I made the bread myself, and it was awesome if I do say so myself.  Which I just did.  Say so myself, that is.  You get it.  Anyway, I’ve recently been really into baking my own yeast breads and rolls and what not, so I’ll have to share my experiences and recipes with you on those as well.

Anywho, here is the cassoulet recipe:

Quick Cassoulet

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic; cook and stir for a few minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add the sausage to the skillet, and cook for a few more minutes to brown.
  2. Pour in the kidney beans, cannellini beans and tomatoes, and season with the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle parsley over the top, and serve.

Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Did I do anything different?  Well, I only used about 1/4 of an onion.  We’re not huge onion fans around here, so I typically only use a small amount or none.   And I let it simmer more like 40 minutes, but that was more a function of me trying to squeeze in getting dinner cooked between feeding the baby and getting her to bed.  I actually did sprinkle with parsley as I had some fresh from last week, but I would definitely say it’s more for color than for flavor in this recipe’s case.

What did everyone think?  Chad and I really liked it.  I personally thought it was great.   The flavors really came together well.  I was afraid with only thyme and bay as seasonings (besides salt & pepper) it might be bland, but it totally was  not.  And the kids?  Well Maddie ate it all up, which is rare for her because she rarely eats more than 2 bites of dinner.  Not because she doesn’t like the food, but because she just doesn’t eat dinner.  She’s two, I don’t expect much.  Carlie got mad because it had tomatoes, but that’s her thing now, she apparently doesn’t like tomatoes even though she does like tomato soup and salsa and ketchup and tomato sauce.  Go figure.  But anyway she picked out the pieces she liked, such as the sausage, a few beans and a couple of carrots.  I will definitely keep this in the rotation, but at a later time since as I mentioned on Thursday’s meal plan Lizzie doesn’t seem to like beans too much these days.  So I’m cutting them out of the diet for now.

Have you ever made cassoulet?  What was different/the same from this one?  How about any other French foods (and french fries and french toast don’t count)?

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