Monday, March 10, 2008

Leek & Bean Cassoulet: A Story of Failure

I had really high hopes for this dish. It looked just beautiful when I read about it on Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit, and then my excitemetn built as I read about it and saw the picture on Vegan Chicks Rock.

Dinner was at 6, I started at 4:30 chopping and peeling and rinsing and stirring and sauteeing and mixing and kneading. Dinner looked beautiful, smelled delicious, and the stew part tasted good, but were this Iron Chef or any kind of judged event, I would have docked myself in the following areas:

1) The onion/leek/carrot mixture refused to brown in the pan. It instead chose to release a lot and I mean a LOT of water. I theorize that I should have laid the leeks out on some paper towels to dry a bit after rinsing and before cooking. My bad.

2) The casserole dish I chose to use (an olive green round Pyrex about 4" deep) was too small around for all the biscuits to fit with 1" in between them, as the recipe calls for. Also:

3) I accidentally pushed some of the raw biscuits into the stew, and they could not be retrieved. Hence:

4) The biscuits came out a beautiful golden brown on top, and completely raw dough on the bottoms.

My dinner companion really enjoyed the raw biscuit action though. In her words, the dough kind of melted into the stew and made it a super thick texture. Trying to pry the biscuits out of the stew was impossible, and they just fell apart into tiny doughy bits that dove straight to the bottom of the casserole dish. So I did my best to scoop out stew only, and the stew part tasted really, really good! Even though at first I had convinced myself it tasted like failure, I finished my whole bowlful and my companion went back for more biscuit.

After dinner we went bargain madness shopping and stopped back by my apartment, where I used the facilities and when I cam out I found her in the kitchen eating a bowl of cold stew. So maybe this wasn't such a failure after all. :)

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