The Daring Cook Challenge was making a French cassoulet, from American recipes. I drifted slightly away. It’s a series of 3 posts.
Why Friday ?
Because Robinson Crusoe told me that was his dear Friday’s prefered dish. There are 2 other reasons.
Well, France is the eldest daughter of Catholic church, as you probably didn’t now nor cared at all. But that meant that until the Revolution, the religious eating rules were followed strictly. On Friday, on Lent, on the period before Christmas, etc, the food had to be maigre. That didn’t mean diet food or skinny. A number of luxury ingredients like meat, butter and bacon were not allowed. Fish and seafood were acceptable. So some versions of cassoulet a la morue (dry cod fish cassoulet) appeared.
Then, about ingredients… I can’t get duck or suitable pork products easily, or not cheap. Then, the story of making a confit and eat it the next day, that doesn’t make sense. Confit becomes good after weeks or months. It’s an optional ingredient in cassoulet anyway. And, that’s personal, but I find it’s even a bad idea to mix it into the beans. In France, I always served confit as a side.
I made oil sardines (3rd post), but I have to let them maturate a little before eating them. So I cheated with a can -of aged sardines, in the recipe.
So this is a 3 fish cassoulet.
For the rest, it is classic.
Baked in a cassole (conical pottery dish) with a natural crust. Bread crumb is for tonkatsu. OK, there are some of my compatriots that use a little amount of crumbs, but really a little. That doesn’t look like a crumble.
As it’s made from nearly scratch, ingredients are the local.
Local stock fish : morue salted dry cod (from Hokkaido), sardines in oil, semi-dried salted smelt (Hokkaido shisamo).
I have used tora mame Japanese tiger beans as their size and texture is close to that of the cocos, the beans used in France.
Another version of cassoulet on this blog :