November 04, 2007

Camp Cassoulet- Chestnuts for Pim- Captain Kate

Pim, I thought of you when the very first thing we saw when arriving at the Nerac market was this seasonal stall from the Pyrenees. Chestnuts, chestnuts and ..smoked garlic?

After a quick Q&A regarding the difference between Châtaignes and Marrons (The larger rounder marrons- used for those sugary Christmasy marrons glacées have no cloisson or wall dividing the nut meat into two lobes) we bought a kilo of marrons plus a braid of the wonderful smoked garlic to use this winter in savory soups. And look! We found this for you to use to cook your Chestnuts !!!

The troops quickly spun off to the far flung corners of the market gathering foie gras terrines, duck rillettes, pate de langue, Salers cheese, as I picked up the two of the essential ingredients from my best Market friend, Kakou- who after doing his best Cro-Magnon man imitation, handed over two lovely ham bones from a Jambon de Coche from the Aveyron- his favorite haunt to seek out artisan goods.

It wasn't long (after a stop for a brocante and a petite noisette (a small coffee with a splash of milk that turns it that hazelnut color), we headed back to Camont for an impromptu retour de la marche lunch featuring the above list of charcuterie. Tables cleared, wine consumed, we were ready for cook Cassoulet. Everybody- to your stations!

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