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Cassoulet for one?

I want to make Cassoulet, but my dilemma is that I don't know anyone I can invite over to enjoy it with me. They are either not as culinarily adventurous as I thought they would be or we are all hitting an age where the combination of meats and fats may send someone to a cardiologist. I am looking at recipes from Bourdain, Wolfert, CH (Will Owen I think) and possibly Julia Child. If I halve any of these recipes will it still be good? Or is cassoulet one of those recipes that doesn't translate well when halved? Lastly, I've never had cassoulet before so I am a little concerned I might not like it as much as I think I will (g-d forbid), therefore if I make a full recipe I may be courting disappointment. I figure if I make half a recipe there will be enough for leftovers and possibly freezing a portion or two. Thanks for your feedback.

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  1. cassoulet freezes well, but it also benefits from a couple of days in the fridge so the flavors can deepen. choose the one that sounds best to you, prepare the entire recipe as directed, eat as much as you want, stash a serving or two in the fridge to enjoy later in the week, and freeze the rest.

    1. I think the main problem with making a reduce recipe, is the amount of work that goes into a classic recipe (several days worth).

      I believe Jacques Pepin has a quick version that might adapt to a reduced size better. Look up his 'more fast food my way' TV series.

      1. You've never eaten cassoulet? That's quite a commitment. Maybe go out and eat some before you put in the time and effort. If it's something you like, you'll be happy to have leftovers. They will be showing up on menus soon. Quercy on Court St in Cobble Hill has a nice one. Wine will assuage your cardio concerns

        1. Judith Jones has a "small cassoulet" recipe in her new book "The Pleasures of Cooking for One" as well as a recipe for a "mini-Cassoulet" in her book "The Tenth Muse."


          1 Reply
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Interesting, "The Tenth Muse" is on my list of books to buy or borrow, hmm... Thanks

          2. I would strongly suggest that you taste this dish at a restaurant or elsewhere (canned?) before making it. I love cassoulet and have made my own and eaten it in friends homes. Yet, I do know of at least three friends who tried making it at home never having tasted it before and were incredibly disappointed and didn't think it was at all worth the trouble. I didn't taste their cooking, so either they had too high of expectations or a bad recipe. Just wanted to mention this to save you the same grief.

            1. I love Julia Child's Mastering recipe a lot. It is, however, a three-day project. I can't imagine making this for a single meal. I also can't imagine that anyone wouldn't enjoy Cassoulet. It is white beans with some meat. It is simple, rustic food. French comfort food, if you will. But, if you really can't find friends who want to share, cook the cassoulet in one large pot. Then divide what you can't eat in 3-4 days into freezer containers and freeze.

              Oh, and enjoy. Cassoulet makes your house smell like you are in Toulouse, and that is a wonderful thing indeed.

              1. Thank you all. So, what's there not to like ,lol? Trying it at a restaurant is a great idea. A couple of winters ago I saw a couple order it and then devour it at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley. It looked and smelled amazing, but I had already finished my meal so I couldn't order it too. Since then it has been a goal of sorts to make it myself I am used to projects not meeting my expectations (I have a bathroom that needs a second remodel less than a year after the first) but I can see deconstructing it (the cassoulet) and enjoying it if it isn't to my liking. I have found one recipe that interests me. It is a little less time and ingredient intensive and uses a whole head of garlic. which I find very enticing. It serves 8 people vs. Wolfert's that serves 10-12 or Bourdain's which looks like it could be more than 10 servings. I think the recipe might be a good jumping off point should I find it to be enjoyable.


                3 Replies
                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  Here's a report on shopping sources in the San Francisco Bay Area for the ingredients to give you a head's start. Go for it.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Thank you Melanie for the list and support. I have been planning a shopping trip to SF for a few weeks now and your suggestions will be very helpful, as well as a lot of fun to pursue.

                    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                      And I just heard from a friend tonite that Polarica in sf has goose leg confit. Have fun.

                2. We freeze leftover cassoulet in portion sizes and it keeps for an amazing amount of time. All winter, really. My husband uses Paula Wolfert's recipe and even makes his own confit. One of the keys is lining the bottom of the casserole with pork skin. It gives the cassoulet an incredibly creamy texture that can't be beat.