Out of one of my favorite books of last year came one of my favorite recipes so far for this year.
Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine recipe for Real Simple Cassoulet cannot be beat. I wasn’t even sure what a cassoulet was before I started making it, so John and I were curious to see how it’d turn out. It ended up being a delicious, hearty, sweet dish that is perfect for a cold night. It’s easy enough to make, serves a lot, and would even be a wonderful dish to serve for a casual, winter dinner party. Here’s my take on it:
My take on Bread & Wine’s Real Simple Cassoulet
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 links pre-cooked Italian chicken sausage (my favorite is Trader Joe’s), chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. European butter, melted
- Heat a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add olive oil and onions, stirring occasionally until they are almost caramelized.
- Once onions are done, add the sausage, chicken broth, vegetables, beans, thyme, salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees while cassoulet simmers.
- In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, parsley, butter, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top of cassoulet.
- Place cassoulet in oven and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until top is golden.
For Christmas, I received the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which has gorgeous photos. Some of the recipes seem a little complex at first glance, but the one below is very easy and tasty. It was the first one from the cookbook that I tried, and it’s a keeper. While Smitten Kitchen’s photo is so much more beautiful, these tacos were still delicious!
My take on Smitten Kitchen‘s Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos
1 large spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chicken broth
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 link precooked Trader Joe’s jalapeno chicken sausage, diced
1/4 cup white onion, diced
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco, optional
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash, halved side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Cook for 40 minutes or until done (soft enough to scoop insides out).
- While squash cooks, add beans, onion, sausage, chicken broth and a dash of cayenne, pepper, and salt to a pot. Let simmer, covered, until softened about 20 minutes.
- Once squash is done, let it cool slightly then using a fork, scrape the squash flesh into a bowl. Discard the skin.
- Wisk lime juice, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt together in a small bowl. Pour over squash and toss together to coat.
- Assemble tacos by placing beans, squash, cheese, and cilantro on top of tortillas.