Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Am a Pot Head

No sooner had I bought the petite Staub cast-iron pots than I was already ordering my next Staub pot, the 3/4-quart size.
I am such a whore! I feel like I don't even love the 1/4-quart pots anymore. But Cranky reminded me that I do love them, and that I have a dandy idea for food to roast in them, soon. Sort of a deconstructed stuffed cabbage, but Shh. We'll talk about that later.
This new pot, the 3/4-quart? OMG, it is gorgeous. The diameter is only five and a quarter inches, to give you an idea how tidy and natty it is. It is the perfect size for two SANE appetites. A little, teensy bit more than you might need to eat, but two loving bowlfuls nonetheless that will not activate a review by the obesity panel.
Look here: Cranky made an impromptu cassoulet. We have gotten very brave, insouciant almost, in faking cassoulets. This was Cranky's first fake, and he was a little nervous, but he nailed it — if not nailing it is nailing it, because cassoulet without a slavish recipe is the goal, and he scored.
White marrow beans, cooked with bay leaves, other herbs, bacon fat and salt. Half a Merguez sausage, which is African and not traditional, but there are lots of Africans in France now, and the sausage is so tasty and made from lamb, which is very cassoulet. A thigh of duck confit. A few halves of ripe tomatoes. A good glug of chicken stock. Some bread crumbs. More herbs.
See, not a recipe. An approximation, and next time it will probably be different (because there is a Toulouse sausage in the freezer).
The thrill, for us both, was cooking our bean stew in the new metal pot. Lid on part of the time, then off.
Well, no, I think the cassoulet was the thrill.
Or maybe the pot.


Alecto said...

I have that pot! And I wants MORE!!! Mine was purchased specifically for bread baking but can do so much more! Can I be a pothead too? Is it too late do you suppose? Will my kids object. Yeah, probably. Maybe I just won't tell them.

dancingmorganmouse said...

impromptu cassoulet - what a wonderful phrase, I want one!
But what size should those of us with INSANE appetites purchase???

cookiecrumb said...

Alecto: You have this too? We should form a CLUB!

Mouse: They come in other sizes for insanitude. You might do with a quart. And even though I'm extolling the virtue of no leftovers, today I'm missing cassoulet.

RoxieWithMoxie said...

My kids would love to eat that. They are such bean lovers. It's going on the list for this week!

cookiecrumb said...

Roxie: Your kids are bean lovers!? Whoo hoo! Have a nice feast. I hope it comes out great.

Shine said...

I am a glutton for PUNISHMENT! I am starving but my hubby is napping on the couch so I don't want to venture in the kitchen and wake him...

So what did I decide to do to pass the time? Check to see what you were up to.

That picture is making my tummy growl and drool run down my chin. The mix of ingredients sounds just right!

peter said...

What is it about cassoulet that makes ordinarily confident improvisers justify and apologize so much? Beans, confit, sausage, stock- how freakin' hard is that? (Though I guess given how high you are all the time it must be more difficult, with all the forgetting, giggling, paranoid second-guessing, spending an eternity contemplating the perfection of a flower, and then mindlessly wolfing down the results.)

cookiecrumb said...

Shine: Read the comment after yours, and throw caution to the wind. I wish you a tasty pot of meaty beans.

Peter: You are such a bastard, I'm thinking of blocking you. Anyway. As for cassoulet, if it's your first attempt and you look at a cookbook, you are frightened and doomed. But you need a starting place. It'll work, but once you break free and smoke some Panama Red -- oops, giggle.

Moonbear said...

Tonight I borrowed a friend's All Clad roaster to make a casserole in, and I see where the rest of you pot heads live. Not In My Neighborhood, obviously. I have to quit spending money on deciduous cookware, and buy something respectable to make impromtu cassoulet in. All right, in which to make impromtu cassoulet. Christ.
The casserole was good, however.

Anonymous said...

I have been quite tempted to get one. I have a big Le Creuset, it cost me an arm and a leg, but when you consider it will probably outlast me, it is money well spent.

I heard this brand you have is a little more affordable and as good as LC

maybe I'll put it on my Christmas wish list... :-)

Greg said...

I already have an addiction to all products culinary. Now you wave these beauties in front of me. If I buy them can I be in your pot club?

cookiecrumb said...

Moonbear: That's a new one on me: Borrowing a cooking vessel! I can see borrowing something highly specialized, like a pressure canner, but... You are cute. PS: "Cassoulet" is just fancy for casserole.

Bewitching: It was JUST like Christmas. We knew we ought to be delaying the gratification, but we just couldn't wait. I hope Santa's listening!
(I have a huge Le Creuset too, big enough to bathe a baby in; never use it. The irony is we bought it for cassoulet.)

Greg: Come on in. You'll need a "doctor's" note, but we can take care of that for you.

dancingmorganmouse said...

I found a big pot at the weekend, on sale even, but it was still $345 - so I may have to wait for xmas or a birthday ;(

Alice Q. Foodie said...

That sounds yum, and I have some Rancho Gordo Flageolets. Did you use ready made duck confit? I wish I could make my own. I would love to have a larder.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: No, that is an unconscionable price. I mean, we could all take up a collection for you, but no pot costs that much. Though I understand Mr. Brown is very generous. (Probably grateful he's not putting offspring through college.) :D

Alice: It looks like I have to have cassoulet at least twice a year. Yes, it was a store-bought leg of duck (I know you've heard of Fatted Calf). I'd love to experiment with a confit myself, but I'd probably have to call in the haz-mat crew.