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Boxed tomato equivalent?

OK, an online friend of mine posted a recipe for Cassoulet here: http://clo-sensuous-delights.blogspot... , knowing that I'd had it in the South of France, even though she's up in Alsace.

I printed out the English translation, 'cause I don't trust my French all that well, and I have a question about one of the ingredients.

2 large boxes of tomatoes without skins

Does anyone know how many ounces of peeled tomatoes are in a large French box of tomatoes?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Check out (online or in the store) POMI brand, because that's almost certainly what she's talking about. V. popular in Europe & available in the U.S. as well.

      1. re: jaykayen

        To quote from French recipe:
        "2 grosses boites de tomates pelées, ( 765g chacune- 28 oz for the USA),"

      2. also, I would bet that Wolfert has a cassoulet recipe in her southern French cook book.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jaykayen

          There are lots of other sources for a cassoulet recipe.

          Anyways, in Wolfert's 2 recipes, there are either no tomatoes, or just one (which adds some acidity to keep the bean from cooking too fast). So that does not help with a version that uses 2 large boxes.

          1. re: paulj

            depending on when it is added (like near the beginning, as in this recipe), the tomato's acidity will keep the beans from softening. is that why the dish takes 4 hours? ;-).

        2. To answer to your question the tomatoes peeled and without seed or pips are in a large can from :
          850 milliliters Enter x 0.034 = 28.90 ounces
          467 grams Enter x 0.035 = 16.66 ounces
          0.765 kilograms (total weight) Enter x 2.205 =1.686 pounds

          so if you find a can around 26 or 28 oz that is good ! and you need 2 x the same because dried beans need many juice to be good cooked and to have a good taste.

          Some let them backing during 2 days and more !!

          I never heared about cassoulet without tomatoes in it although my husband was from the South-West and all his family.
          If the tomatoes were better than they are now without taste I had used them not in a big can, but also I have had to peel them and put off all the seeds!! hard and long work !!
          Most of us use this can of tomatoes coming from Italia because they are easy to use and not so expensive !
          You can add also if I forgot to write it 4 pieces of sugar (around 2 tbspoons) that is because of the acidity of the tomatoes.
          If you need to ask other questions about the recipe you can send me in the "comment" and I'll answer you.. Better than to ask to ppl who doesnt know anything about french cooking !
          I understand that is not easy to find the same products in USA than those we use to cook... But I can try to help you to make your cassoulet the best.
          Hope you'll enjoy it :)


          2 Replies
          1. re: Clo

            Assuming this dish has deep historical roots, there must have been a time when no one used tomatoes. However it shouldn't be surprising that most current versions do include them. But are tomatoes every a dominante flavoring, or are they just part of the background?

            My intention in mentioning the versions without tomatoes was not to get into an argument as to whether tomatoes are appropriate or not. Instead I just wanted to convey the impression that amount of tomato is not critical to the dish, since there are authentic versions that have little or none.

            1. re: paulj

              and also there was a time where they didnt use beans to make cassoulet !! Nobody knows the deep historical roots. Each century it is some change..
              *laughs with a shake of head* how much americans place a formula set in stone for a simple dish that is variable and common in France!
              and the best recipe for a dish is the one you like the best ! even if you make some change in it each time you cook it !
              Cooking is like painting : it is to create, to invent and not to be stuck with the idea that dish is a format !


          2. OK, I found most equivalent products today, and we're in our last half-hour of cooking on the stove. The house smells wonderful! I'll let you know later or tomorrow how it all tastes.

            Thank you for chiming in, Clo, and welcome to Chowhound! See you in AW soon!

            1. OK, I haven't had a chance to try the finished product myself, I was so tired last night, that I shut it down as it was finishing and went to bed. When I got up, there was a dirty bowl on the counter from my SO getting up in the middle of the night and eating. He'd spent the entire cooking process debating the method, since it wasn't the Maine Quebecois method he'd grown up with.

              When we were both up, I asked how it was. He hesitated.....Said he'd been rehearsing what to say..... Uh Oh..... He said it was the BEST bean dish he's EVER eaten in his 60 years, and had to force himself to stop after 3 bowl-fuls so there'd be some left over to savor later. Ummmm, the dish makes tons of cassoulet, so not to worry!

              11 Replies
              1. re: tracylee

                Hum..... shall I understand that you had no 1 bean left to taste it ??? and that "He" ate all of the pot ???? If it is that my poor friend you can complain !!!


                1. re: Clo

                  No, no, no, no, no..... He only had 3 bowlsful overnight, and two more yesterday afternoon, when I actually got to eat a bowl myself. There's still lots left!

                  He does have an enormous appetite, but cassoulet is filling, even for him!

                  And now that I got to taste it myself, it is truly yummy!

                  1. re: tracylee

                    Aaaah I am very happy you both like it... If you have some left you can put in the freezer without any problem. More it is reheated more it is better !!
                    Now you know you can invite many friends and cook for them a french cassoulet ! Congrats my dear friend you are a good Chef !
                    Maybe one day you would like to cook another of my recipes, some dessert ?! LOL


                    1. re: Clo

                      clo: thanks for the link. clo or tracylee, can we have a translation?

                      clo, your strudel with vanilla sauce on your site looks great! nice that i can read the recipe in english. ;-).
                      (did you realize your site is still playing "i'm dreaming of a white christmas"? -- a lovely song. i love andy williams, too. maybe just leave it up all year. it puts me in a mellow mood. ;-).

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Thanks for your compliments... I put the song at Xmas time but soon I'll remove it... It is the Xmas song I prefer..!
                        If you need a translation for Cassoulet, I think it is better that tracylee gives it to you because she knows english better than me -of course- and she cooked it. So she knows exactly the good english terms.
                        Also you can try to translate with the translator I have put at the beginning of my website at the right side.
                        I wrote some recipes in english, and if you want I can give you their names to find them easily. Most of them are desserts.


                        1. re: Clo

                          clo, i just suggested your strudel for an icewine pairing: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5910...

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I dont know what is "icewine", here we can drink it with Gewürztraminer, Champagne, Crémant, and many other sweet wines. As you wrote in the other post in fact it is not too much sweet, I dont like too sweet desserts. I choose granny smith because they are not too sweet.
                            If you like it you can add some sweet whipped cream on the top we call it "crême Chantilly", instead of the Vanilla Sauce.
                            But for those who know the "icewine" thanks for your good idea, because I am sure you are a gourmet !


                        2. re: alkapal

                          OK, I'll clarify the English translation as I did it:

                          Serves 6-8 people
                          2 1/2 hours in large stock pot or 8 hours in Crock pot on high

                          750 grams white beans (I found Great Northern in 900g bags - used most of one)
                          4 duck legs (any duck parts worked well for me)
                          800g lamb (I used a lamb steak I found on sale)
                          1 sausage (I used a package of two linguisa)
                          250g bacon, low salt (I actually left this out)
                          6 carrots
                          2 26 oz cans peeled, whole tomatoes
                          4 onions
                          5 whole cloves
                          5 cloves of garlic
                          4 thyme stems, leaves on
                          4 bay leaves
                          salt and fresh pepper to taste

                          1. Soak beans overnight in a large quantity of unsalted water. Drain
                          2. In a large pot, bring a large quantity of salted water to a boil, add beans and cook on a low boil for 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
                          3. Dice 2 of the onions and sautee in a separate pan until just before they brown. Put this in the pot of beans.
                          4. Cut the lamb into 1" pieces and brown. Put this in the bean pot.
                          5. Cut duck into large pieces (or use the 4 legs suggested) and brown in frying pan. Add to bean pot.
                          6. Cut one of the remaining onions into slices, spike the other with cloves and place these in the pot.
                          7. Slice the carrot into 1/4 circles or so, and add to the pot.
                          8. Empty both cans of tomatoes, with juice, bacon, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and parsley into the bean pot.
                          9. Add freshly ground pepper.

                          10. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. (4 hours in crock pot)
                          11. Cut the sausage into 3-4" lengths and add to the pot.
                          12. Cover and cook for 1 more hour. (4 hours in crock pot).

                          Give it all a stir and serve! As my Mom says, cassoulet grows as it's stored, or at least seems that way. As Clo has mentioned, it is wonderful re-heated.

                          I've discusses substitutions with Clo, and she was most adament that chicken or turkey will not substitute for the duck, however goose would work. I cut back on the onions, and the house still smells of those that I sauteed before putting in the pot.

                          The fun of this dish is the variety of meats in one bowl, and pulling the duck off the bone as you eat it.

                          Hope that helps, alkalpal!

                          1. re: tracylee

                            thanks clo and tracylee! mr. alka loves cassoulet, and i've never made it!

                            1. re: tracylee

                              Many thanks for the translation tracylee that is very kind of you, but I notice that you wrote :

                              "2. In a large pot, bring a large quantity of salted water to a boil, add beans and cook on a low boil for 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot."

                              Dont put the beans in salted water ...they will become very hard and never good baked !
                              The best is to add salt at the end of cooking.
                              If you look at my french recipe that is said ! also the reason why to dont cook them with salt until the end...

                              Hope you'll cook it alkapal and enjoy it with your husband !


                              1. re: Clo

                                I guess the translation missed that part, Clo, but the beans turned out perfect the way I did it.

                  2. I haven't read all the posts, but I don't think anyone has mentioned that boite means not only box but also can, undoubtedly what the recipe called for.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mbfant

                      Next time read all posts and you'll see that I told the tomatoes are in a large can ! my post from Jan 24, 2009 06:45PM ...


                      1. re: Clo

                        Yes, you did, and I saw that. I merely wanted to specify that "boite" can mean both box and can (as in Italian "scatola" can mean both too).