Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 59! France-Cassoulet of Fresh Cranberry Beans, Duck and Sausage and Apricot Flan - Up Next, Gabon, Africa

It's nearly impossible to choose one meal to cook in the beautiful country of France - but since I HAD to pick one dish, I turned to my Potager (which means kitchen garden in French) cookbook. I settled on a Cassoulet of fresh canberry beans, duck and sausage and a flan. It was a cool night, so warming up the kitchen with the smell of roasting duck didn't seem like much of a sacrifice. The flan recipe called for persimmon, which I wasn't able to find, so I substituted apricots instead which were delicious, although not as colorful as persimmon.

We lived right across from
these train tracks
France, whose capital is Paris, is near and dear to my heart because my mom, brother, sister and I lived there in the 1960's for two years. We lived in the 14eme Arrondissement, on the 4th (I think) floor of a tiny walk up apartment building. I have not so fond memories of school (let's just say the Parisians don't embrace the groovy Montessori method I was accustomed to) and VERY good memories of the food. I can still smell the patisserie at the end of our street where my mother would send me to buy our daily baguette.

Since then, our family has been back to France several times - eating our way across the country with a deep appreciation for the people, culture and philosophy of taking ones time to cook and enjoy a meal from start to finish with friends and family.
Dahlias from Bobby Blair's farm
My new awesome measuring cup from my friend and Pampered Chef rep, Patty :)

Apricot flan, going into the oven at warp speed

Golden and beautiful apricot flan
Fresh tomatoes added to duck

A lovely and aromatic duck and sausage cassoulet - superbe!

Plated - Cranberry beans in a savory sauce

Je suis une fille heureuse

The recipes for the duck cassoulet and flan are extremely lengthy and detailed, so I did not include them (it would have taken me hours to re-type them). However, if anyone is interested in getting them, I'd be happy to forward them to you electronically.

Final Assessment: I loved this meal. It was savory and aromatic and the cranberry beans were out of this world.  The apricot flan was delicate, light and perfect. I'd like to make it again with the persimmon when they're in season. A+


Young Werther said...

That flan looks great.

Love french cooking... all that super rich sauces and butter :)

ChristopherR2D2 said...

Vous êtes un grand chef, Sarah!

Karen said...

cassoulet is a favorite meal around here...I do it in my slow cooker. The next one is going to involve the wings from the wild tukey we smoked this summer, currently waiting in my freezer. Want yours though ! And that very measuring cup/bowl is in heavy, heavy rotation in my kitchen :)