Monday, December 6, 2010

SATISFYING Stove Top Cassoulet

Brr!!! A wintery chill has definitely arrived here in New Jersey. The snow flurries we had all day today caused me to ponder the benefits of becoming a hibernating bear....but alas, the reality is that I will continue on as a human. And as hard as it may be, I must stay awake... and continue to function during the approaching dark, shivery days of winter.

This can only mean it is time to start breaking out my heartiest recipes... the kind of meals that give us all the warm fuzzies after we have eaten them! This stove top cassoulet is definitely one of our favorites. I like it because it is a one dish meal that the whole family enjoys, and it even satisfies the most exuberant of appetites.

SATISFYING STOVE TOP CASSOULET

1.5 to 2 lbs any variety sausage links (I have used sweet Italian sausage many times in the past. This time I used chicken sausage with roasted red peppers/spinach in it.)
4 slices of bacon, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 carrots and 2 ribs of celery, diced
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ( for a more smoky flavor, use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted tomatoes)
2 15oz cans small white beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Rustic bread of your choice
Grill the sausages or prepare stove top. Cool and slice, set aside.

In a fairly large stockpot cook the diced bacon in the olive oil, add the onion and thyme, vegetables, and white wine. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat about five minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes, beans and sausages, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve in bowls topped with grated parmigiano reggiano and a side of warm crusty bread.  This is guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out!

(Oh yeah, did I mention that it is full of things that are good for you, too?)
If you want to make it ahead for a crowd, just follow the directions above, and then transfer it to a slow cooker and set it on "warm".  Then it is ready to serve when you are! Be sure to put out some butter on the table (for slathering onto the crusty bread) and some extra grated cheese. Serve with your favorite wine, or winter lager.

Then finish the meal with some good quality pieces of dark chocolate. With minimal effort, you are suddenly everyone's hero! (At least for one night.) Lemme know whatcha think!

3 comments:

  1. jamesosowski@hotmail.comDecember 17, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Did you remove the sausage casings or leave them on ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! I left them on, but you can remove them if you prefer. Happy Cooking!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I made this tasty meal for my family and they loved it too!!! Even Nibs :)Thanks Fifilicious!

    ReplyDelete