When I told the Star Fleet Supreme Commander that I was going to make cassoulet for one and eat it the same day. OH MY GOD you’d have thought I’d told him I was going to make Peking duck with Cheerios. And I quote:
“I have had cassoulet in Toulouse and you, sir, are not making cassoulet!!!” in his best Margaret Dumont voice. Possibly he did not say “sir” but the intention was there.
Cassoulet is a bean and meat dish from the south of France and it takes a few days to make along with a bunch of things that I either do not have on hand, like duck confit or would prefer not to have to look at much less eat, like pig skin.
The Toulousians think they have sole proprietorship of the recipe and so, apparently, do people who have eaten it there. Granted, it was not the way Julia Child made it (if you want to watch a funny YouTube about making her version, I highly recommend this). But I had the right dried beans (flageolet) and basic idea, gut genug, as we say in German, and I can call it whatever I want.
Unfortunately while it was good, it was way too salty for me. I ate it or some of it because I’ll eat nearly anything except anchovies but really I ate it mostly because it was there. Besides, I’m sick and have been for what seems like 30 years (NO, for the 60th time, IT IS NOT COVID!!! It’s a cold) and I wasn’t really hungry so I didn’t eat much of it.
To remediate the saltiness of it the next day I added unsalted cooked elbow macaroni and pasta water. Cassoulet soup was born. I can hear the storm of the Toulousian cabal on its way here spearheaded by a Royal Mounted Indian brandishing a trumpet and a Joan of Arc style banner in his hand.
I’m putting out bowls for them, this shit is gooooood!