Last night my little kitchen held six. The Queen of Fun was sick, and we missed her. The Prince of Intense was away at school, but I put in extra garlic for him anyway. And S fell off the boat. Otherwise, it was a most magical dinner reunion.
We started with L's crazy new cocktail.
1 shot Canadian Club
Dash Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters
Shake with ice, strain. Serve up, garnish with orange twist and a Ciliegie di Vignoa allo spirito.
Bridey brought a lusciously ripe hunk of Humboldt fog. L dished out little Dijoned stacks of salami and 4 year aged gouda. E called just as the artichokes were being served with little backyard Meyer lemon halves, and she scored a great parking spot.
We cleared off the artichoke petals, and I hefted the 14” cast iron skillet of crusty bubbling cassoulet out of the oven.
2 ½ cups flageolet beans (navy work too)
2 large onions, diced
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb multi-colored carrots, hunked
1 ½ lbs duck confit
3 cups good breadcrumbs
¼ c (one stick) butter
Soak beans 4 hours, then cook 1 hour until edibly soft but not mushy. In a large (14”) cast iron skillet brown diced onions in bacon fat, add thyme. Add 2 cups water and the hunked carrots and simmer until the carrots are soft. Place the duck confit over the carrot/ onion mixture in the pan. Salt well. Melt butter, mix with breadcrumbs. Transfer beans into cast iron pan, reserving bean cooking liquid. Add bean liquid to almost cover the beans. Sprinkle on buttered breadcrumbs. Bake at in the middle of the oven at 350 for 2 hours, then move to the top of the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve with sliced cabbage sautéed in butter.
Erin brought a pear custard tart, and even baked it in the tart pan we lugged home from France.