Adventure #12 – Culinary Conundrum: A “Light” Cassoulet?

February 27-28, 2010

There is nothing more comforting on a cold winter day than a warm bowl of cassoulet and a glass of red wine.  Cassoulet is a French casserole, usually made with white beans, duck, pork sausage, and various types of animal fat, cooked in a stew, topped with crusty bread crumbs, and then baked.  I tried making one last year during a snow storm and the results were OK, but I wasn’t blown away.  It had a good flavor, but I thought it was a bit dry.  This year, I wanted to one-up myself (perfectionism at its finest!) and make a PERFECT moist, flavorful cassoulet.  My other challenge was to lighten the fat and calorie counts by not using duck or pork fat in the cooking process, and using lighter cuts of meat (i.e. pork tenderloin, boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and turkey smoked sausage).   I also added a whole lot of veggies to up the nutrition factor.  A classically-trained French chef would shake their head in disgust, but it’s not feasible for most of us to confit a duck in our home kitchens!  I found three different recipes for Cassoulet from Cooking Light, which I used as a guide to put my own twist on this classic French comfort food.  It took two labor intensive days in the kitchen, but the results were so worth it!  Stay tuned, recipe coming soon for the Perfect “Light” Cassoulet….