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Cooking with 'The Cooking of Southwest France'

379 posts in this topic

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.

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.

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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.


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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My first go at Rabbit Compote with Prunes was delicious, but picking out all the little bones was no fun. And, I was not 100% successful. Paula's recipe calls for cutting up the rabbit into 7 or 8 pieces, which breaks the spine where all the little bones are. For my second go at the recipe, I decided to cook the whole rabbit sous-vide to so that the little bones would be attached to the skeleton and not floating around in the meat. I have a chamber vacuum (VacMaster VP112) but it was too shallow to hold the rabbit and liquid without making a mess, so I put the bag with rabbit and liquid in the freezer for a while, to stiffen it up. It worked well. 


I browned the meat, and vegetables, brought the mixture to a boil and then let it cool, bagged it and put it in the freezer for 6 hours or so.

Then sealed the bag, cooked the rabbit at 167º for 8 hours, iced down and refrigerated overnight. The next day I followed the recipe from step

8 to the end. It was really easy to pull the meat off the bones as the skeleton remained whole. 


What a super dish.. I love Paula Wolfert!!! 


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