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.
Here is the cassoulet after baking for about 5 hours.
The recipe follows.
Here is the complete recipe:
Cassoulet a la morue (Moroccan)
2 medium carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 red pepper
17.65 oz White Coco beans
1 ¼ quart water
1 lb Salt cod
4.2 oz can Matiz Lemon Sardines
3 tablespoons Busha Browne’s Pepper sherry
10 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup Breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Preserved lemon
Salt to taste
Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover. Discard this water before using the beans.
Also, soak the salt cod overnight, exchanging the water a couple of times. Discard soaking water.
Heat olive oil in 6 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Dice onion and carrots and sauté in olive oil until soft. Crack garlic cloves and add them to pan about two minutes after onions and carrots are added. Add 1 T pepper sherry at this point and stir to deglaze pan as needed.
When vegetables are softened, add tomatoes, beans, water and spices except for salt. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours or until the beans have softened.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut red pepper into strips and lightly sauté. Add to beans. Using a 3 quart Dutch oven, add beans and salt cod in alternating layers. As a final layer, add the sardines and enough beans to almost cover. If there is not sufficient cooking liquid left from the beans, add chicken stock so that the beans are covered. Place in the oven and check periodically to make sure beans have liquid and to test doneness. After about 5 hours (or until beans are quite tender) remove from oven and top with a layer of breadcrumbs. Continue baking for about 45 minutes or until breadcrumbs have formed a nice crust.
As beans are cooking in oven, remove any pith from preserved lemon rinds. Dice lemon and soak in remaining pepper sherry. When beans have finished, serve with a garnish of preserved lemon/ sherry mixture as desired.