First of all I wanted to say that last week was so hectic that I didn’t get a chance to post about the menus but I did do the Sweet and Sour Chicken, which was delicious. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of it to post, but we all loved it. I decided to save the Thai Noodle Stir Fry for this week and we had it for dinner tonight. It was superb and I think it will become a staple around my house.
On to the cassoulet, I have had cassoulet many times in France and I have always found it to be rather heavy and greasy because of all the duck fat and the usual duck confit. I have to confess that we are not very big duck connoisseurs in my house and we usually leave duck for restaurant dining as it seems to always be better when ordering it out than when I make it at home. I took some artistic license with this version and substituted chicken leg quarters for the duck legs and I also used some bratwurst I had on hand along with the Italian sausage. I can’t begin to tell you about the incredible aroma that filled my house while this was cooking. I also had several neighbors stop by to ask what I was making because the smell was permeating the neighborhood. I invited several of my neighbors over to sample it as this recipe made a large quantity and I really didn’t want to be eating this all week. It was a big hit with everyone.
The beet salad was also a big hit around my house. The beets are just starting to show up at the farmers markets and I found some beautiful smaller ones to use for this salad. I love the combination of the roasted beets, feta cheese and red onion on top of the peppery arugula. Arugula sometimes can be too bitter when used alone in a salad and I often combine it with a variety of others greens to offset the bitterness but this combination seemed to tame it’s bitterness perfectly while still allowing it to shine through. The dressing was also wonderfully fragrant and a perfect foil for the beets and cheese. We had it for lunch this afternoon and it was just the perfect weekend lunch with some nice crusty Italian bread.