May 6 2011

Cassoulet a la morue (Moroccan)

A local market & cafe — ZZest had a recipe competition recently. It was loosely modeled after the Chopped show on the Food Network in that you had to use three mystery ingredients from ZZest and come up with a recipe and photos of your dish. I decided to enter and Tuesday I found out that I had won.
The secret ingredients were:
Lemon Sardines – French White Coco Beans- Busha Browne Spicy Sherry Vinegar

An interesting combo. The Coco beans (no, not cocoa beans no matter what Google keeps suggesting) immediately brought to my mind a cassoulet. The lemon sardines suggested Morocco to me for some reason so I decided to season with some Moroccan style spices. This also went along fairly well with the pepper sherry.
Then, salt cod seemed like a good choice for the main meat of the dish. There is actually a traditional cassoulet served in France with salt cod on Fridays (no “meat) called cassoulet a la morue. Morue, being salt cod.
After about seven hours of work the dish was done. It turned out quite well. It looked very good and tasted surprisingly (to me) good. I’m not normally a big sardine person, but the combination of spices and slow cooking all came together.

After slow cooking

Here is the cassoulet after baking for about 5 hours.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Cassoulet served

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The recipe follows.
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May 3 2011

Prognosticators

Here’s an interesting paper:
Analysis of Forcast Accuracy in the Political Media.
A class at Hamilton College, led by public policy professor P. Gary Wyckoff, analyzed the predictions of 26 prognosticators/pundits between September 2007 and December 2008. They randomly sampled the predictions of these prognosticators and looked at the outcomes. They assigned scores and ratings. A prognosticators with a score of over 5, they classified as good. A score of 0 to 5 they classified as bad and a score under 0 as ugly. A score of under 0 means that the prognosticator did worse at their predictions than if they had flipped a coin.
Paul Krugman scored the highest with an 8.23. Out of 17 predictions, he was only wrong once.
Running some statistics upon their data resulted in a couple of indicators for whom you should not listen:

Individuals who hold law degrees are less accurate when making predictions.
Conservatives, according to our data, are also less accurate.

It’s actually a fairly fun paper to read.