Friday, October 20, 2006

Cassoulet, Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin & Chocolate Mousse

Last night Colin served Cassoulet, Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin & Chocolate Mousse. The Cassoulet was made on Wednesday night as it takes hours of slow stewing so it was reheated last night and served up with creamy mashed potatoes and mange tout and it was absolutely devine. Keith had the Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin which were also delicious and after letting all that settle for a while we tucked into the chocolate mouse which was a little hard but still scrummy. We took some pictures of the meals but they're still in the camera so here's some someone made earlier and I'll put the originals up for next week but to be honest they're very identical.

Have a great weekend whatever you're up to and I'll catch you on Monday.


Serves 8


500g home-salted belly pork
65g duck fat
1 head garlic, broken into cloves, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1kg dried haricots, soaked overnight
Large bouquet garni made from leek, celery, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and parsley stalks
6 good quality Toulouse sausages
4 legs duck confit, cut into two at the joint


1. Cut the piece of belly pork lengthways into three thick slices, then cut each piece across into two.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
3. Heat 50g duck fat in a six-litre flameproof casserole dish.
4. Add the garlic and onion and fry gently until soft but not browned.
5. Add the beans and the pieces of salted belly pork, cover with 3 pints water and push in the bouquet garni.
6. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum as it rises to the surface, then cover, transfer to the oven and bake for one hour or until the beans are just tender (this will depend on the age of your beans).
7. Heat the remaining duck fat in a frying pan and brown the sausages all over.
8. Lift them onto a board and slice each one sharply on the diagonal into three pieces.
9. Remove the cassoulet from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220C.
10. Add the sausages and the pieces of duck confit to the casserole and push them down well into the beans.
11. Return the casserole to the oven and bake uncovered for a further 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the cassoulet is covered in a dark golden crust.
12. Serve straight from the pot at the table.

Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Leeks, Cheddar and Boursin

Serves 2


2 large baked potatoes
1 leek, trimmed and cleaned
40g mature Cheddar
80g Boursin
1 tablespoon single cream
salt and freshly milled black pepper


Cut leek into four lengthways, then into ¼ inch slices. Put the Boursin into a medium-sized bowl and cut the potatoes in half lengthways. Scoop out the centres of the potatoes into the bowl containing the Boursin, add the cream and season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Now quickly mash everything together, then pile the whole lot back into the potato skins. Now scatter the leeks on top, followed by the grated Cheddar then place on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the leeks are golden brown at the edges and the cheese is bubbling.

Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6


200g dark chocolate broken into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
40g golden caster sugar


Place the broken-up chocolate over warm water in a large heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly. Remove it from the heat and give it a good stir until it's smooth and glossy, then let the chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes before stirring in the egg yolks. Then give it another good mix with a wooden spoon.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to the soft-peak stage, then whisk in the sugar, about a third at a time, then whisk again until the whites are glossy. Now, using a metal spoon, fold a tablespoon of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest. You need to have patience here – it needs gentle folding and cutting movements so that you retain all the precious air, which makes the mousse light. Next divide the mousse between the ramekins or glasses and chill for at least 2 hours, covered with clingfilm.



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