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Cassoulet forever!

I loved this election night comment from Robert of Cross Keys:

I'm watching ABC News, and in the Times Square crowd there are two signs: Cassoulet and Cassoulet Forever. I didn't even know Cassoulet was on the ballot. If so, I may have changed my vote. 

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The signs were later explained by hmpstd, but it does seem a timely subject for exploration.

Cassoulet, for those of you who have never had it, is a rich French stew of duck, sausage, often other meats and beans. I feel like I've seen it on Petit Louis' menu in the past, although it's not there now. If any of you has had it at other French restaurants in the area, please post below.

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Here's a column Rob Kasper wrote on a local cassoulet competition, which suggests that Brasserie Tatin might sometimes have it on its menu (not now). You will be able to get cassoulet stuffed in a sausage casing, though, as I mentioned in a Table Talk item this week. ...

It's a great company dish, if you like to cook. The one time I made it (from a Julia Child recipe, of course), I was living in a one-room apartment in Philadelphia. After the last guests left, I got violently ill -- not from the food but from a weird facial neuralgia thing that lasted three days. It was very painful and was accompanied by terrible nausea.

I couldn't get off my bed of pain even to wash out the cassoulet dish that sat on my kitchen counter. The rich smell lingered in the apartment for those horrible three days, and for years I equated cassoulet with being sick. It took me a long time to be able to enjoy it again.

Funny how great dishes can be spoiled by association.

The photo, by the way, is of a winter chicken and white bean cassoulet, definitely untraditional, but it looks good. Too bad I don't have the recipe to share with you, just the photo from our archives.

(Photo by Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT)

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