Cooking Cassoulet

For the past few years I really saw cooking daily meals as a barrier between myself and the things I wanted to do. With teaching all day long, coming home to cook for an hour or two before doing anything else just felt like torture. 

Now that I work from home and spend most of my time working on the project that were so marginalized in the past, I am finally starting to love cooking again. It feels good. I actually enjoy chopping the fresh vegetables, smelling the herbs and garlic, finding new recipes, and especialy loving all the praise from my husband. I am a good cook and he reminds me of it all the time now. 

Chicken and Butternut Squash Cassoulet (not the most attractive cassoulet, but so yummy)

My new love: cassoulet. According to Wikipedia, cassoulet is a "rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausagesporkgooseduck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white haricot beans."

I first made Quick Cassoulet from Cooking Light. It was a huge hit when we had friends over, so I found another one, Chicken Cassoulet with Acorn Squash also from Cooking Light. Acorn Squash is a pain to peel and cut up, so I made it with butternut instead. It came out well, but we missed the bread crumbs which are traditional. Other than that, it was great. Although I do now know why the Quick Cassoulet was called Quick...the Chicken Cassoulet took almost 3 hours to make and cook! Yikes! 

I think I am now ready to experiment with my own cassoulet starting from these two recipes. Already inventing new combinations of ingredients in my head.