It took beans to have me come back!

A repost from last year, just in time for colder weather.
It will be cooked next week because I’m starting to crave more fall comfort food.

I love,love,love and ADORE My Dutch Ovens.
This started a few years ago when my incredible kids, they know my love of gadgets, bought me an orange oval Creuset pot.
I started cooking with it as soon as I could and LOVE it!

I even bought special utensils for it as not to scratch the bottom and it lived, when not in use, on top of the stove.

Then last year a friend gifted  me her orange pumpkin shaped pot which joined the oval on the stove.
And then those amazing kids gave me a round 5.5 Quart blue one!
Stove is getting a bit crowded but why hide these beauties?

Last Labor Day Himself and I were in San Francisco and visited  the San Francisco Ferry Building Market Place
And they have a Sur La Table store there.
I have a timed visit allowance at any cooking store because this is my kind of toy store.
Off the bat by the door was a display of all things Creuset.
Stopped me in my tracks!
2 walls full of pretty colors and sizes.
And a saucepan on sale for $64 made me think real hard how much more space I really needed on top of my stove.
I ended up with a cook book on cooking in Dutch Ovens for far less money.
(turns out that the pot was $264, so good I didn’t go for it)

On the ride home I read to Himself some of the recipes in it and he did his usual grumble which I think means approval. He’s the quiet type.
Opposites attract and all that.

Fast forward to Tuesday, yesterday, and still frozen chicken with dinner in 1.5 hours.
Not in the mood or position to order pizza, going to be Mother of the Bride in a few months so must fit in dress.
Opened my cookbook and saw Easy Cassoulet. Only a few ingredients and not a lot of prep time.
Haven’t had that dish in ages, maybe as far as 1982 when a then boyfriend was so cheap on our trip in France it was all we ate.

Look at my lovely pots, and bacon!



The finished dish.



My pup Tarah closely watching me cooking. I might drop something right?




After Himself and I ate.






2nd Degree Black Belt made sure we didn’t have left-overs. This made me very happy and sad at the same time.



By now you are wanting a recipe, right?

I deviated a little from the book by adding Andouille Sausage and cut smoked tomatoes but it’s pretty much the recipe in the book.

Easy Cassoulet from  the Dutch Oven Cookbook


5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 thick slices
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
One Andouille sausage per person
1 cup chicken broth
One 14.5 can smoked tomatoes
Two 14.5 can of white or Cannellini beans
Parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400f
In a 3 1/2 quart Dutch oven add the bacon and brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the onions and sauté until soft, add the garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, bacon and cut up sausage.
Transfer the Dutch Oven to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

I served this with warm French bread to soak up the juice of the dish.

Judging by how there were no left-overs this a repeat recipe.


Shrimp Scampi, easy and healthier

A past post but worth sharing, fast and easy.

I only figured this dish out 3 weeks ago when I was stuck for a meal.
It’s so simple and fast yet very tasty.

You need for 4 people:
3 to 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Garlic We like a lot of it, but 3 cloves is a good start.
1/2 cup white wine
Raw shrimp, I use 4 ounces per person. You can use any shrimp but the medium size is nice as it doesn’t get lost in the noodles.
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of a lemon, I got one of these neat grater thingies that also grates cheese.
Parsley Enough to make it look pretty, you can use dried or fresh. A tablespoon is a good measure.
Salt and pepper to taste

We eat the scampi with Dreamfields angel hair pasta, it’s lower on the Glycemic Index but doesn’t taste like cardboard. You can use whole wheat or your own preferred pasta.
If you are watching your carbohydrate intake you can use Shiritaki noodles too.

Melt the butter in a large pan together with the garlic, do not let the butter brown so use lower heat.
Add the wine and let it evaporate a bit.
Add the shrimp, depending on the size of the shrimp cook any time from 3 to 5 minutes until pink.(medium to large)
Add the lemon and the zest.
Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you are serving this with pasta follow the directions on the package.
I always start cooking the pasta when I assemble my items for the Scampi.

Should you not want noodles I suggest to add raw spinach. Fold it in at the same time as the shrimp and allow it to wilt.

We always have Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper as a topper.

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