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Cooking with 'The Cooking of Southwest France'

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377 replies to this topic

#361 Abra

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 09:28 AM

I made the Ragout of Veal with Orange today. That's a totally delicious dish! Because of my schedule, I left it in the sauce in a warm oven for an hour before serving, which worked perfectly. Don't hesitate to make this in advance, and definitely don't leave out the orange peel slivers. It's a great bridge season dish, warming and filling, but with a freshness from the orange and lemon that is inviting even when it's not the dead of winter.

By the way, I used a kilo of veal and left all the other ingredients as written and there was plenty of excellent sauce.

Edited by Abra, 03 November 2008 - 09:29 AM.


#362 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:56 AM


And to everyone else: make garbure (and lots of it).  With a chill in the air, you'll be happy to have a huge pot of it stashed in the fridge.  And it gets better and better after a few days.

MMmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Garbure.

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I love Garbure as well and just made a big pot last weekend. It is very easy to make and, as you say, perfect when the weather gets chilly.

I boil poitrine de porc with potatoes, then add cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, turnips if I have them, herbs, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. This recipe is basically from Julia Child, does the "Cooking of Southwest France" recipe differ much?

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Julia's version is delicious.

A couple of variations that I like are: Add a parsnip or two at the most. And/or add, if you can find them a couple of the orange colored turnips that are in the markets now. (I don't know if there's a name for them other than Navet.) They add a wonderful flavor.

Another soup that's just coming into season is curried pumpkin soup. I bought the first potrions I've seen at market yesterday and am making the soup today.
Can't wait for dinner so may have some for lunch!

#363 viva

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:16 PM

Finally getting around to posting about my first cassoulet experience! Made a full dinner entirely from this cookbook. Quite a hit for the birthday boy, and I definitely appreciate the advice from previous posters.

Appetizer: Compote de Lapin aux Pruneaux. I didn’t get any photos of the rabbit – it disappeared too quickly! I packed the compote into a lidded crock for both aging and serving (did not unmold), then shredded the prunes and served on the side along with a tart red onion jam and some whole grain mustard. (Serving the whole prunes just lying on top of the compote didn’t seem too visually appealing to me.) The tart accompaniments really went nicely with the richness of the compote. This one was a real hit, very easy to make, and I was happy to have a little bit left over the next day on a salad.

Main: the Cassoulet de Toulouse, served with the very easy Mache Salad with Moutarde Violette and crusty bread. I tossed a few of the cracklings from rendering down the duck fat into the salad. Because there wasn’t quite enough richness in the meal already! :laugh:

I procured my three ducks from the Vietnamese market, whole head and foot on. The bones, heads, and feet were used to make the Dark Rich Duck Stock, which will then be used in this year’s Thanksgiving turkey gravy, making me the stealth Gravy Queen!

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The sausage confit in progress below. I did not make the Toulouse sausages, but purchased a nice fresh garlic-thyme kielbasa from the local Polish market. I also used a combination of duck fat and lard for the confit fat.

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Duck confit out of the oven (I confited the wings, necks, and legs from all three ducks):

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Canned sausage confit ready for aging:

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Cook’s treat! The duck “sludge” from filtering off the confit fat.

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And, at long last, the cassoulet out of the oven:

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Dessert: Grimmolles, served with crème fraiche on the side. Surprisingly popular! I had actually made a backup pear tart with almonds, but the grimmolles were a hit. Made on my pizza stone, with cabbage leaves getting nicely crispy and flavorful on the bottom, topped with not too sweet battered apples. I think if I were to do this again, I would make it in a smaller cast iron skillet, so that the apples and batter heaped up into a form, rather than spreading themselves out over the leaves.

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A wonderful meal.
...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

#364 Abra

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:54 PM

Thanks for the report, Viva. I'm dying to hear more about the grimolles, since I haven't yet dared to make it. Did you eat the cabbage? Could you taste it in the apples? Do tell!

#365 viva

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:17 PM

Yes, we definitely ate the cabbage leaves - they didn't taste "cabbagey" but rather crispy and smoky. That, together with the subtle sweet of the apples and the creaminess with the creme fraiche made a really nice, unusual combination. I would recommend trying it (especially with those lovely apples that I saw pictured recently on your blog, Abra).
...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

#366 Abra

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:09 AM

Since it's poule au pot season, I made the CSWF recipe for the second time. I didn't have jambon de Bayonne this time, and used jambon cru instead, which wasn't quite as magical, but this year I made a great soup from the leftovers. Pictures and details are here. If you've never tried this recipe, and I see that I'm the only one that's posted here about it, you really should. It's absolutely wonderful.

#367 Margaret Pilgrim

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:40 AM

Since it's poule au pot season, I made the CSWF recipe for the second time.  I didn't have jambon de Bayonne this time, and used jambon cru instead, which wasn't quite as magical, but this year I made a great soup from the leftovers.  Pictures and details are here.  If you've never tried this recipe, and I see that I'm the only one that's posted here about it, you really should.  It's absolutely wonderful.

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Thanks, Abra. I put it on the week's menu. The wind is howling and we're in need of comfort food.

Actually, though, it's my hope that at some time we will be able to choose this kind of recipe from "Adventures in Abra's Languedoc Kitchen". :wub:
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#368 Peter the eater

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 06:09 PM

This weekend I've been making Paula Wolfert's slow-cooker confit of pork. The results have pleasing and surprising. The meat is a bit more salty and chewy than I would've expected but it's also extremely flavorful in a porky way, so I'm happy.

I defrosted two "hands" of pork -- the arm between the hocks and shoulder -- that were frozen last November after the slaughter of my 2008 half pig. Once thawed, I dried them off and coated them with coarse salt and sage for a day and a half. Over the winter I've been trimming and saving lots of pork fat for confits and sausages, so I rendered just enough to cover the pork in my slow cooker.

I've got a question: since I'm not putting up any confit, I'm thinking of using the rendered lard again for another batch of confit later this week. Can anyone share some pro's and con's? The fat never smoked and likely stayed below 100C the whole time.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#369 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 06:14 PM

There are cons? :smile:

I think re-using the fat from confit, as long as it still smells good, is perfectly OK, and can give fantastic results. I have not experimented extensively, but the few times I've tried it I've had no problems.

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#370 Peter the eater

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 06:25 PM

I think re-using the fat from confit, as long as it still smells good, is perfectly OK, and can give fantastic results.

I agree, Chris. I guess what I'm less sure about is the "authentic French way" of doing it.

I regard this confit technique as another way to slow poach in oil. I'm sure I'll be fine filtering and sniffing the oil, which BYW has developed quite a fine nose after one six hour cooking session.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#371 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:30 AM

We cooked a three course meal from Paula's book yesterday. All recipes that we hadn't tried previously. The meal turned out well although I wouldn't say it was brilliant. More like nice ordinary Sunday French cooking. We cooked:

"The Archbishops Tourain" This duck comfit based soup with rye bread was true peasant food despite the title. Just the thing after a long walk on a cold day. Very hearty and flavorful.

"Michael Guerard's Pureed Celery Root" I've always wanted to try something with celery root other than the classic cold salad dish. This cooked version with apples was was good and went very well with the duck based soup. I'll do it again.

"Batter Cake with Fresh Pears" Good, but disappointing. It didn't rise nearly as much as advertised. Don't know why as we followed the directions pretty carefully. Taste wise it was fine. It defiantly needs the sugar coating as the pears are a bit bland otherwise.

Overall this turned out to be an 'ordinary' French dinner.

I've written this up in far more detail on my blog (link below) and there you will also get the story of shopping for the ingredients at Limogne market.

#372 Peter the eater

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:03 PM

Paula's words are having quite an impact on my kitchen -- almost everything I see is a potential confit. Reminds me of the time ten years ago when I became equipped to flambé. At first it was a banana here, a quail there -- over time it escalated to a clear and present fire hazard.

These are the pork hands from the weekend, before & after:
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and a hen that spent 18 months in my freezer:
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That bird was a dud destined for the stock pot until it spent a half day simmering in flavoured oil. It came out looking and tasting of pheasant -- dark red, stringy but moist, mildly gamey.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#373 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:53 AM

Since it's poule au pot season, I made the CSWF recipe for the second time.  I didn't have jambon de Bayonne this time, and used jambon cru instead, which wasn't quite as magical, but this year I made a great soup from the leftovers.  Pictures and details are here.  If you've never tried this recipe, and I see that I'm the only one that's posted here about it, you really should.  It's absolutely wonderful.

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I made poule au pot today, but didn't use Paula's recipe. I did some looking on the net, but in the end pretty much followed Jacques Pepin's recipe plus local advice.

I didn't use an old hen as they're expensive and I was serving 6 hungry people so would have needed two hens. Instead I used 3 coqullet (young roosters). Otherwise the recipe was similar, onion, carrots, cabbage, leeks and butternut squash cooked in the stock made from the little chickens.

I didn't stuff the birds as one of our guests has a gluten intolerance so can't have anything with bread in it. Besides there are as many unstuffed recipes as there are stuffed in any case.

After boiling the chickens carved easily into two halved & the skin slipped off with no problem. I also removed the rib cage & back & breast bones.

The real trick was to serve the dish with Dijon mustard and cornichons. They absolutely 'made' the dish. (not sure whether Paula's recommended green sauce would have been better or not. I'll have to try it.)

I'll post my recipe on my blog in the fullness of time, but suffice it to say that this version was delicious and much enjoyed by all. (I've now done it.)

Edited by Dave Hatfield, 08 March 2009 - 02:07 PM.


#374 viva

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 05:22 PM

Okay guys - need your opinion. What's the best cassoulet in the book? I've made the Toulouse, but am torn on the next one to make, either the Fava Bean Cassoulet or the Catalan Cassoulet.
...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

#375 MarkinHouston

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:54 AM

Okay guys - need your opinion.  What's the best cassoulet in the book?  I've made the Toulouse, but am torn on the next one to make, either the Fava Bean Cassoulet or the Catalan Cassoulet.

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The Fava Bean Cassoulet is really extraordinary. The difficulty of finding fresh favas is the only barrier which keeps me from making this dish more often.

#376 Dave Hatfield

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:48 AM

Okay guys - need your opinion.  What's the best cassoulet in the book?  I've made the Toulouse, but am torn on the next one to make, either the Fava Bean Cassoulet or the Catalan Cassoulet.

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In all due modesty mine is. You can find it somewhere in the archives or on my blog.

It ain't the beans only, but the combination of flavors that counts.

#377 Chris Amirault

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 02:11 PM

Making the Bernaise veal tonight, and it smells fantastic, but I was surprised that there's no liquid at all. Anyone care to comment?
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#378 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Scallops in Tangerine Sauce from the Cooking of Southwest France.

I used tangerines and Cara Cara oranges from my CSA for the sauce. The technique for the sauce is detailed by Paula Wolfert in an eGullet post here. The recipe is from chef Jean-Louis Palladin. It's a reduction sauce they call stratification and it looks like it could easily be adapted for other applications. The resulting sauce was transparent (like stained glass) and slightly viscous so it adhered to the plate and the scallops.

The sauce was beautiful and the technique was fun & quick. Taste-wise, I liked the intensity of the tangerine flavor. There was an aftertaste however from the fish fumet/demi-glace. Probably my mistake, I used veal demi-glace (the recipe did not state which one to use). Chicken stock or chicken demi-glace would be a more neutral choice, even though in the end the flavors blended together.

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The scallops were half-moon scallops from Catalina Offshore which are kidney-shaped. They have a lovely flavor. Their texture was more firm that what I am used to, although I was very careful not to overcook them. They may work better in ceviche.





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