Tag Archives: crab

Cassoulet + Some Catching Up

Happy New Year! I am kicking off the new year with a catch up post. I’ve continued cooking along with Cook the Book Fridays, but I haven’t managed to keep up with my blogging. I will be covering each item in the order cooked (because the order was strategic!).

Counterfeit Duck Confit


Counterfeit Duck Confit provides a simplified way of making the classic duck confit at home. It takes some planning head (the duck legs marinate overnight then roast for close to three hours), but the technique is easy.

I don’t think I’ve ever had duck confit, so I’m not sure how it compares to the real deal, but I enjoyed this duck a lot. Part of the leg portion was a touch dry, but the skin was crispy and delicious and most of the meat was moist and tender.

I cooked four duck legs and froze two of them. I also saved the duck fat that remained in the baking dish. Keep reading to see why!

Fennel, Radish, Orange, and Crab Salad


Fennel, Radish, Orange, and Crab Salad is pretty much what it sounds like. Simple crab salad placed on a bed of sliced fennel and radicchio topped with orange suprêmes and sliced radishes.

We liked this, but I would change a few things: 1) There were too many greens for the amount of crab; I ended up using only half the greens I prepared. 2) We didn’t care for the bitter flavor of the radicchio and felt like we would have enjoyed the salad more with romaine lettuce. 3) Buy a better crab! The crab I bought was only OK, so I can only imagine how delicious the salad would be with perfectly fresh crab.

That said, we enjoyed the all the flavors of the salad (except the bitter radicchio), especially the brightness of the orange.

Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat


Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat: another very descriptive recipe title! Remember the duck fat I saved when I made the Counterfeit Duck Confit? I used it to make these potatoes.

What I like about this recipe is that the potatoes are parboiled in water and then fried. This helps ensure they are creamy and cooked through on the inside and not too overdone on the outside.

Yum! These are the best fried potatoes I have ever made. I served them with an egg scramble (using leftover fennel and radicchio from the crab salad) for “Breakfast for Dinner”.



Finally, the Cassoulet! Or, the more descriptive White Bean, Sausage, Duck Confit Casserole.

This was an all day project, even with the already-made duck confit legs I pulled out of the freezer. I cut out some of the time by using my Instant Pot to cook the beans and ham hock (I saved about an hour and a half).

This recipe make a lot. I cut the recipe in half and it still served us for two dinners, a lunch, and sadly some that went to the trash.

This is another French classic that I have never eaten before. I don’t know if the ratio is traditional, but I thought there were too many beans to the duck confit and sausages. Next time (if there is a next time) I would cut the beans in half again.


I wanted to like this more than I did. The beans had a wonderful flavor, but I wanted more of the meat. Also, as my husband said, “It has a delicious background flavor, but it’s all background flavor”. He wanted more punch from the duck confit and sausages, but the flavors blended almost too well with the beans. So, while I had fun making this, and I really did enjoy eating it, I doubt I would make it again. Too much effort for not enough payoff.

Whew! I need a rest after that. Good thing it’s the weekend!

All the recipes mention in this post can be found in David Lebovitz’s book My Paris Kitchen.



Filed under Cooking

Crab-Avocado “Ravioli”

Crab-Avocado Salad

I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post!  Where have I been?  Just busy with life.  Working on my home improvement project (making progress, but not done yet), being an advocate for my daughter’s education, hosting my parents for a visit, and planning and executing a successful garage sale.  Whew, I need a break!

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was the perfect appetizer to make during my parent’s visit.  My Dad and I both have birthdays later this month, so we had a an early birthday party.

So, this appetizer was supposed to look like little “raviolis”, with avocado in place of the pasta.  We were to use a mandoline to thinly slice the whole avocados, pit and all.  After a few successful slices, the pit got jammed in the blade and squished the rest of the avocado.  I could tell that further attempts would just make a big mess.  So I opted to just slice the avocado the traditional way, and make constructed salads.

Crab-Avocado Salad

“Raviolis” or not, this was one delicious appetizer!  The crab meat was seasoned with salt, lime zest and juice, shallot, cilantro, and pistachio oil.  The flavors went wonderfully together.  This was a big hit with everyone!

I have a couple more FFWD recipes that I have made but not blogged about yet.  I hope to catch up on those soon!


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Asparagus and Bits of Bacon (plus Crab and Grapefruit Salad)

Happy French Friday!  This is going to be short and sweet today.  Plus, it’s a double French Friday since I missed last week.  Between having a sick child, doing the taxes, getting ready for Easter, and working on a super-secret sewing project, I’ve been busy!

We’ll start off with Asparagus and Bits of Bacon, a simple and delicious side dish.  This one is so easy!  Asparagus is cooked until just tender, then tossed with walnut oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Cooked and chopped bacon is then heated briefly with finely chopped onion in some  of the bacon fat, and spooned over the asparagus.  The onion is hardly cooked; just warmed slightly.  I was a little worried about the taste of raw onion, but rinsing the chopped onion before heating took the bite away.  I really liked the taste of the barely cooked onion and bacon together!  My one complaint about this dish is that it took some coordination to get a bite that included the bacon, onion, and asparagus together, since the onion-bacon mixture did not “stick” to the asparagus.  This would make a lovely side dish for Easter.

Next up is Crab and Grapefruit Salad.  This refreshing salad combines grapefruit, crab, cucumber, red bell pepper, and green onions, and is tossed with a bit of olive oil, Tabasco, lemon juice, and fresh mint.  I topped mine off with some arugula tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  This was a delicious way to enjoy crab and made a lovely spring dinner.  I only wish the weather had been better.  This salad makes you want to eat outside on a warm, sunny evening!

For more French Friday with Dorie results, check out frenchfridayswithdorie.com!


Filed under Cooking

Infamous Crab Dip (A Christmas Memory)

Growing up, we spent Christmas Eve at my Grandma’s house.  In my Dad’s family, they always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, so we continued that tradition.  First we would go to late afternoon church services and then we headed to Grandma’s house (which sometimes involved a song about going over the river and through the snow).

When we arrived at Grandma’s house my sister and I were allowed to open one small present each, but then we had to wait until after dinner until the real present-opening began.  When we were younger, the wait through dinner was torturous!  I’m sure we were pretty obnoxious about it.

Grandma always made the same thing for dinner: ham, scalloped potatoes, jello salad, and angel food cake for dessert.  But the thing we enjoyed the most was her “Infamous Crab Dip” that she served as an appetizer.

Grandma stopped hosting Christmas Eve about 8 years ago and none of us have had her crab dip since.  When I hosted Grandma and the rest of my family for Thanksgiving this year, I thought it would be fun to serve her crab dip.  It was a big hit and as good as we remembered!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!

I was lucky to have my Dad bring a fresh piece of horseradish from his garden!

Infamous Crab Dip

(click here to print)

  • 1 can (6½ oz) crab meat, drained
  • 6 0z cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish (grated fresh or jarred)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Spoon into a small ovenproof baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through (I find it takes a little longer…).  Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Makes about 1¼ cups.


Filed under Cooking