Turkey Cassoulet

Cassoulet

Cassoulet is an iconic dish of Southern France. It’s peasant food, made from whatever ingredients happened to be around—white beans, pork, sausage, slow cooked fowl (a confit if you’re feeling fancy)—and that’s where the arguing begins. Ingredients vary from town to town, and each is convinced that its particular combination is the best.

Cassoulet has a reputation for being difficult to make because of all the steps you might have to take to prepare its many possible ingredients. It couldn’t be simpler, actually, and lends itself well to having its ingredients made ahead and assembled in advance of cooking. In fact, we think it tastes better a day or two after preparation, so savor those leftovers!

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Orange Almond Cake

Orange Almond Cake

In the dead of winter (or what passes for it in California), nothing brings the sunshine back more than citrus. As a winter treat, Steve created this delicious cake for oranges or a mix of orange with other citrus. It’s reminiscent of Middle Eastern or northern African recipes. It can be iced (we used a simple cream cheese icing), glazed with either a cooked juice/sugar syrup or marmalade, dollopped with whipped cream, or sprinkled with chopped nuts or powdered sugar—or some combination of all.

Yes, you read the recipe correctly: use WHOLE fruit. After all, some of the most intense aroma is in the rind, and boiling removes the intense bitterness of the white pith, leaving a pleasant “edge”—almost like the flavor of an Italian aperitivo. Depending on your combination of citrus you may want to adjust the amount of sugar you use; tangerines or blood oranges may require more than a typical navel orange. If seeds are present, remember to remove them before processing the fruit after boiling.

This cake pairs beautifully with Urban Legend’s Aglow, an orange dessert wine. There’s a bit of that edge with it, too—it’s not too sweet and has notes of baking spice from fermenting the grapes with the skins and seeds (just like a red) rather than just fermenting juice.

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