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Monday, June 8, 2015

Cassoulet Dish from Southern France

Cassoulet (French pronunciation: ​[ɛ], from Occitan caçolet [kasuˈlet]) is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing white beans (haricots blancs) and meat (typically bacon, sausages, duck or chicken and sometimes mutton).

The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot.

The region once known as the province of Languedoc is the traditional homeland of cassoulet, especially the towns of Carcassonne and Castelnaudary (near Revel), the town which claims to be where the dish originated.

Ingredients and Recipe below the Video
Photos at end of Post

Ingredients (serve 6 to 8 people)

Cannelloni Beans 24 hours in water (3 cups)
Carrots (3 medium)
Onion (1 medium diced)
Diced Tomatoes (1 can 14 oz)
Garlic (3-4 cloves)
Celery (2 stalks)
Anaheim Pepper (1 cut in slices)
Lamb Sausage (3)
Chicken Breast (1 cut in 1-2 inches pieces) if no duck confit is available.
Bacon (1-2 think slices cut in inches)
Chicken Broth (1 quart)
Coconut oil if you do not have duck fat (2 table spoons)
Salt (only after end of cooking, otherwise beans will have a hard skin)
Pepper (to taste)
Cumin (1-2 tea spoon)
Turmeric (1 tea spoon)
White Vinegar (2 table spoon)
Bread crumbs


In a skillet Onion and Garlic with 1 table spoon of coconut oil until transparent (do not brown).

In a skillet brown the lamb sausages with 1 table spoons of coconut oil.

In a skillet brown the chicken pieces with 1 table spoon of coconut oil.

In the skillet where you brown the chicken cook lightly the bacon pieces and remove the liquid fat.

Mix all the ingredients (except salt and bread crumbs) in a crok-pot  (or slow cooker) and add water if necessary to cover the beans. Let simmer for 3-4 hours at high, then 6 hours at low (or until the beans are tender). 

Now add salt to taste.

Before serving spread bread crumbs on the top and broil for few minutes.

White beans soaking in water
Garlic & Onion
Lamb Sausages
Chicken Breast

Ingredients ready to be mixed in the crok-pot
Serving for 2

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Turkish Coffee

The video explains how to make Turkish Coffee
Ingredients and Recipe

Tasting the Turkish Coffee.  It is really good.

What is left at the bottom of the cup
after drinking the coffee

Sediments made of coffee grounds.

Washing the cup...
... a lot of coffee ground

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

By MARK BITTMAN from the New York Times

THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli ...” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions; it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)

Another argument runs that junk food is cheaper when measured by the calorie, and that this makes fast food essential for the poor because they need cheap calories. But given that half of the people in this country (and a higher percentage of poor people) consume too many calories rather than too few, measuring food’s value by the calorie makes as much sense as measuring a drink’s value by its alcohol content. (Why not drink 95 percent neutral grain spirit, the cheapest way to get drunk?)

Besides, that argument, even if we all needed to gain weight, is not always true. A meal of real food cooked at home can easily contain more calories, most of them of the “healthy” variety. (Olive oil accounts for many of the calories in the roast chicken meal, for example.)In comparing prices of real food and junk food, I used supermarket ingredients, not the pricier organic or local food that many people would consider ideal. But food choices are not black and white; the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food, any more than the alternative to soda is Bordeaux.

The alternative to soda is water, and the alternative to junk food is not grass-fed beef and greens from a farmers’ market, but anything other than junk food: rice, grains, pasta, beans, fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, bread, peanut butter, a thousand other things cooked at home — in almost every case a far superior alternative.