Otto Preminger's Cassoulet Toulousain
1 lb. small white navy beans
1/2 lb. salt pork, diced
2 large onions
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb. garlic sausage, cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans (28 ozs. each) peeled whole tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1/4 cup each white wine vinegar and water)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 duck (about 4 to 5 lbs.) roasted; fat reserved
1 cup bread crumbs
Wash beans; place in deep pot and cover with boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes; set aside for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook salt pork until some of the fat is rendered; remove, reserving fat. Add salt pork, 1 onion stuck with 2 cloves, bay leaf, carrots and celery to beans; add water to cover, if necessary. Heat to boiling; simmer, covered, for 1 hour (or until just tender).
Drain, reserving bean liquid. While beans are cooking, brown lamb cubes, pork loin and sausage in reserved salt pork fat; remove. Add remaining onion (chopped) and garlic to skillet; cook until onion is transparent. Add tomatoes, chopped, with their liquid, wine (or diluted wine vinegar), parsley and thyme; combine with drained beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove duck meat from bones, except drumsticks, cutting into serving pieces. In large casserole, alternate layers of beans with duck and meats, ending with layer of beans. Pour reserved liquid from beans over all ingredients to cover. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Dot crumbs with some of the reserved duck fat. Bake in preheated 325 degrees F. oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (or until meats are tender). Serve with a green salad and a good Bordeaux wine. Serves 12.
Thoughts: Cassoulet, the French classic is to Frenchmen what baked beans are to Americans. Every region of France has its own unique version. In Toulouse, for example, many cooks insist on including preserved goose in lieu of duck. The wonderful hearty dish is best prepared in an earthenware casserole pot. Best advice is from Hope Preminger who simply says, "Sit down and bon appetit!"
Otto Preminger's Deviled Eggs
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon English dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
Dash of sugar
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese
Paprika or parsley
Put eggs in pan and fill with enough cold water to cover the eggs with an inch to spare. Bring to a full boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 15-18 minutes. Then drain and submerge eggs in cold water. When they're cool, peel eggs and set aside. Whip cheeses, mustard, red pepper, sugar and salt. Split the eggs in half lengthwise, carefully removing the yolks from the whites. Mash egg yolks very finely, add the vinegar, then the mayonnaise. Add to cheese mixture, along with Parmesan cheese, and whip until smooth. Generously fill egg white halves with yolk mixture, rounding off the top. Sprinkle with paprika or parsley. Serves 6.