I couldn't help but smile when author R.J. Harries asked if I'd like to review his latest book, Killer Collectors, because, in his email, he mentioned that he'd put in lots of food references in case I wanted to recreate another #readcookeat recipe. (Last year, I reviewed The Boathouse and recreated Steak & Salad, the only foodie reference I could find in the book !)
I must admit, I was spoilt for choice in this one, with mentions of "moules marinières", "omelette Arnold Bennett with smoked haddock, parmesan and cream", "coq au vin and mash", "boar stew", expensive pumpkin soup", "lamb, leek and onion soup", "sea bass on rösti with a small square of Welsh rarebit on the side"...
I was intrigued by this description of an Italian dish that I'd never heard of before - p160 "Tonight's one-pot meal, pasta e fagioli, is simmering away slowly on the cooker. It will be hard to beat the coq au vin, which tasted even better last night than on Friday night, but the starter should make up for it, especially the hams." It's a simple pasta and beans one pot meal that would be a great winter warmer and I found a recipe for it here.
As I'm rather partial to a bit of James Martin, I was won over by this mention of Saturday Kitchen though : (p75) "Some rotund actress is on as the non-chef guest, scoffing everything in sight and projecting her voice like she's treading the boards of a provincial palladium while James casually cooks sausage and lentil cassoulet." I actually found James Martin's recipe for exactly this dish online. I used this for inspiration but made a simplified version with what was in the cupboards.
Sausage & Lentil Cassoulet
8 smoked sausages/Toulouse sausages
250g blond lentils
1tsp smoked paprika
1 large precooked baked potato (optional)
1 tin baked beans
The lentils will need about half an hour cooking time so, as I was in a rush, I started them off in a saucepan of boiling water while I sorted out the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the sausages into large chunks and fry them in a hot pan. (You could add a drizzle of oil but I didn't bother.)
Chop all the veggies into large chunks.
Add the carrots, onions and mushrooms to the sausages and cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Transfer the lentils and water to the pan with the sausages and veggies to finish off cooking. Add the herbs and spices.
After 20 minutes simmering, it should have reduced and created a thick stew.
For some variety, I added a tin of baked beans and threw in a large baked potato that was in the fridge, chopped into pieces.
Give it all a good stir and serve in bowls with a hunk of crusty bread. (Or with mashed potato, if you want to be like James Martin !)
Linking up with the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka.