Friday, January 29, 2021

Cuisine & Screen: At Home, Part 31

The weather we're having lately certainly calls for some comfort food. One of my favorite crock-pot dishes is Cassoulet, which is essentially a combination of beans, vegetables and meat, and it's easily customizable. My sweetheart and I decided we wanted to be a little EXTRA and add some seared Duck Breast to the dish. It was surprisingly easy and super delicious. 

Sear the breast after liberally seasoning it with salt, and place it in a cold cast iron skillet, skin-side down. Turn the heat on, to medium, and the fat will slowly begin to render. After a few minutes, and once the skin is crispy, flip the breast and let it continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Place the skillet in a 425 degree oven and let it continue to cook for about 4-6 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 135. And the most important step when cooking meat - you must let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it! Then thinly slice and serve. 

Here's the recipe for Cassoulet I used, and it's worth noting that I substituted Smoked Sausage for the Italian Chicken Sausage (you can use any you like, really!) In the past, I've also added some chicken thighs that cook down nicely, too.
Cassoulet with Duck Breast

White Tiger - YES. More like this, please. Vaguely reminiscent of "Parasite", with about a quarter of the subtitles. It's based off a book published in 2008, and tells the story of Balram, a driver for a wealthy family in India who is desperate to flee his live of poverty, using any means necessary. I don't want to give away much more of the plot, and I'd even discourage you from watching a trailer. Jump right in and be prepared to be immediately engrossed.

La Vie En Rose - I'm a big Marion Cotillard fan, and had never seen her Oscar-winning performance in "La Vie En Rose". This biopic tells the story of French singer Edith Piaf, and Cotillard is incredible in her portrayal. It's a pretty dismal story - Piaf grew up in a brothel and was surrounded by drugs and alcohol, and had very little support system. Her talent saves her, if only fleetingly, and by 47 years old, her hard-lived life catches up with her. Stunning hair and make-up, and beautiful music. I recommend this film, but fair warning - it's 2 hours and 20 minutes of some pretty dramatic material.

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