Catching the Cassoulet

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Guess who forgot to take their medication yesterday and then ate far too much salt?  Yes, it was ME!  Woke up this morning with a massive headache, bordering on a migraine so I called in to the office and told them I wouldn't be there.  After taking today's medication, not moving around too much (dizzy, woozy...), and catching some zzzz's, I began to feel better shortly after lunch.  Good thing too because daring adventurer/archaeologist and third cousin, twice removed, Alberta Jones showed up.  And this time he brought a friend - Franz the Finnish Fisherman.
Where's the grub, cuz?  We're famished - we just flew in from Finland and boy, are our arms tired.  Ba doom boom!
 I was planning to try a recipe for Leek and Bean Cassoulet in Veganomicon this weekend anyways, so I figured why not.  Good stick to your ribs comfort food is perfect for unexpected guests.  At first, I wasn't sure what "cassoulet" was - sounded like casserole.  Essentially this recipe is a veggie (or vegan if you follow their instructions/ingredient list) stew with biscuits on top.  What the heck, said I, why the hell not.  I love stew.  I love veggies.  And I love biscuits.

Alberta Jones is a sly one.  He was desperate for a meal you see but didn't have enough money for the fuel to get him all the way back to Canada so he conned his new Finnish friend into splitting the cost with him under the illusion that they were coming to a famous Canadian spa. Fisherman Franz was not very pleased.  However, I'm never one to have a houseguest leave unsatisfied so while I was whipping together the cassoulet, I whipped together a few spa treatments for the two gents.

While boiling some potatoes, the boys were treated to a lovely steam facial - it really opens the pores and helps the skin to breath.  This was quickly followed by a roll in biscuit dough an exfoliating whole wheat flour rub.
Ahhh, my skin is flaking off like the scales on a herring before they're pickled.
This was followed shortly after by a milk bath.

Thank goodness I'm not lactose intolerant!

To work off their jetlag, the boys did some cardio work by hiking across the rugged leek/carrot/onion terrain.  If you thought their feet smelled bad before....phew! 
I thought Spa's were supposed to be relaxing... this feels like work.

While I was busy putting the stew portion together, Franz and Alberta Jones got sidetracked trying to respond to what they thought was a distress signal.  Turns out it was just the can opener.  Sorry boys, no stupid colonists to rescue from their virginity...
Alien Egg Pods!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooo! 

Thankfully Judge Judy came on and the two of them disappeared into the living room.  I managed to finally get the finished cassoulet into the oven, topped with whole wheat sage biscuits and had a moment to myself to relax.  Company can be very exhausting, especially when you're not feeling your best.  A mere fifteen minutes in the oven and boom!  Dinner's served.
Nom nom nom
Naturally, I made a few changes to the recipe.  First, I used 1% cow milk as I don't have soy.  Secondly, they called for thyme but I used Herbs du Provence and then sage in the biscuits.  Thirdly, I added corn cause I love it.  And finally, I used unsalted butter instead of vegan shortening in the biscuits.  How was it?  Not bad - I should have added a little salt (I used homemade unsalted veggie stock) and more sage but I'd certainly make it again.  It would also be delicious and super easy to make with chicken if you wanted to skip the beans and make it meaty.  My company certainly liked it.  Especially the part of getting their own individual biscuits to break up into their stew. 
We're high on cassoulet. 
Alberta Jones will be back soon after another fantastic adventure (and when he's too broke to buy his own groceries).  Even Franz the Finnish Fisherman has promised that he'll return if I keep on cooking for him.  I turned down his offer of pickled herrings though.  Ewwwwww.


Wandering Coyote said...

Wow, Franz has got to be the least Finnish name I've ever heard! Perhaps he has German/Austrian ancestry?

I also forgot to take meds yesterday, which resulted in total nastiness last night. UGH!

The cassoulet looks wonderful!

S.M. Elliott said...

OMG, this is hilarious. And tasty-looking! (sorry about the wicked headache, tho) I'll definitely have to try a cassoulet sometime, minus the fisherman.

mister anchovy said...

excellent post.

Dee Ambrose said...

hahahaha! :) I love this post xx

Chandra said...

mmm, cassoulet. I love it, except for the taters ;)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Is there anything that biscuits can't do?

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