Tag Archives: Beans

Birthday Feast: Cheats Duck Cassoulet

12 Sep

Last week was the 1st Birthday of the Legal Tart! How time has flown!

I first started this blog a year ago to give me an outlet from my legal work. Don’t get me wrong I do for the most part enjoy what I do, but there are times where I need to do something completely different, and while I still play with the idea of moving to Positano and selling tomatoes for a living, cooking and blogging seems a little less extreme 🙂

They say mindfulness is the key to happiness. Some people achieve this through yoga and meditation, others through going for a run, but my mindfulness comes through cooking and as a side bonus I get to eat the fruits of my labour and feed others.

I can’t pretend that blogging has been a completely joyful experience. There are times, largely when I am having technical issues like today, that blogging can feel like another thing on my to-do list. But when I see comments from all you lovely readers I am always glad I took the time to put down some thoughts and share a recipe.

Almost a one pot wonder!

This meal is a celebration meal. I keep promising myself that I am going to make a proper cassoulet, but time so far as worked against me. When I saw this short-cutted version I couldn’t believe my luck and marked it immediately for later cooking. You will be rewarded for your efforts with meltingly tender pieces of duck that simply fall from the bone and a rich sauce.

Cheats Cassoulet

Adapted slightly from Gourmet Traveller

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp of duck fat
  • 1 duck (ask your butcher to carve it up for you or in the alternative buy breast and leg pieces)
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 300 gms of speck chopped into 2 cm pieces
  • 400 gm can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 gems of dried cannellini beans soaked overnight
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of all spice
  • 2 litres of water
  • Fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Soak beans in water overnight in a large bowl, the water height should be about 5 cm above the beans

2. Heat duck fat in a very large casserole pot and out on high heat

3. Season duck with salt and pepper on the skin side and then place skin side down into the hot duck oil.

4. Once the duck fat as rendered slightly and the skin looks golden flip the duck piece over and cook on the other side You may need to do this in batches.

5. Place cooked duck on a plate and set aside

6. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion garlic and speck and fry off until the onion has softened.

7. Return the duck to the casserole pot with the tomatoes, drained beans, sage leaves, bay leaves, allspice and 2 litres of water.

8. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 3- 3 ½ hours or until the beans are tender.

9. Once the beans are tender remove the duck pieces into a large shallow baking dish and then top with the bean and sauce mixture.

10. Scatter a coating of breadcrumbs on the top and drizzle with olive oil before returning to the oven. Turn the heat up to 200 degrees, allow the breadcrumbs to brown

11. Serve straight from the casserole dish with a green salad and some baguette.


Food Unity: Pork and Black Bean Mexican Burgers

6 Aug

Why go out for a burger when you can have a steak at home goes the old saying. Why? because sometimes nothing satisfies quite like a burger . Now I know what the saying was referring to and I am not suggesting that you start referring to your beloved as a burger, thought quite frankly I am not enamoured by being called steak either, actually lets just stay away from comparing anyone to meat products entirely so as to avoid any unsavoury punning 😉

While staring out my window at work, so as to avoid having the look at the confusing piece of legislation in front of me again, I got to thinking about what I wanted to make on the weekend. What did I feel like I pondered and I was torn between an overwhelming desire for both Mexican and burgers. In a moment of transnational food unity I decided to make a Mexican inspired beef pattie to be paired with toppings and crusty bread to make a Mexican style burger. Aye Carumba!

The patties are a little delicate, although they do keep their shape while being cooked, but I highly recommend placing them in the fridge for an hour before cooking to allow them to firm up. The Mexican seasoning is not overwhelming or hot, but gives a hint of smoky spiciness that distinguishes this burger from other more traditional burgers. Paired with whatever toppings take your fancy, cheese and guacamole being mandatory, this feels like a seeing an old lover with new eyes.

Do you prefer steak or burgers?



Pork and Black Bean Burgers

Recipe by the Legal Tart

serves 6

  • 500 gms of Pork mince
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 chilli chopped finely
  • 1 can of black beans thoroughly trained and crushed lightly with a fork
  • 2 tbsp of taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of chipotle tabasco
  • 1 Egg beaten lightly
  • 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
  • Salt and Pepper


1. Fry off the onions, chilli and garlic until the onion is soft then add the taco seasoning and stir to coat the onion mixture. Cook for approximately 2 mins. Put aside to cool

2. Add the slightly crushed black beans to the mince then add the beaten egg and the tabasco.

3. Add the onion mixture and mix with your hands until the mixture feels well combined and is starting to stick together. Season with salt and Pepper

4. Make the mixture into patties and place on a tray in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

5. Place any patties you know you don’t need to cook immediately wrapped and in a container in the freezer or fridge.

6. Cook the remaining patties for several minutes on each side remembering to turn the patties gently to avoid any risk of them breaking up.

7. Serve in a crusty bread roll with guacamole sour cream, cheese and lettuce.



Change Of Pace: Salmon with Pesto Butter Bean Mash

3 Nov

Sometimes I can get caught in a bit of a food rut. You know where you keep eating that same thing over and over again, every week. There are times when I find this kind of consistency very comforting and I look forward to old favourites. But there are other times where I feel that I need to branch out and do something a bit different. I love fish, but I do have a tendency to always do it the same way. Salmon, oven baked with potatoes and veges. Healthy….mostly, except for the large wodge of butter I apply to the potato. Not that I make apologies for adding butter to anything! 🙂

I got stuck in my head, the idea that I wanted to make a dish with butter beans, yes a butter theme again….. Do not ask me how this bean fixation occurred or what prompted it. No doubt I saw them while surfing the net or watching the food channel and have been unable to shift the desire for them ever since. I don’t eat butter beans or other white beans that often. But they are relatively cheap and contain lots of fibre and other goodies for your body.

After a Sunday madly cleaning the house and taking full advantage of the Dyson I had borrowed off the parentals, I decided a fresh, flavourful dinner and a chilled glass of white wine was in order. This salmon dish hit the spot and I was surprised at my own presentation skills. Usually I tend to slap my food on the plate shortly before wolfing it down. In my world it tastes as good eaten from the pan it was cooked in, as it does on the  plate. But I took the time to prepare and plate this meal, so I had something joyous and attractive to eat while watching Mad Men DVD’s and enjoying  what was left of my weekend. The coral pink salmon against the pale green mash was so pretty and the sweet juicy tomatoes added sharpness to the whole dish. I implore you, do not leave out the squeeze of fresh lemon at the end. It is vital for lifting and bringing together all of the flavours.

I had about half of the butter bean mash left, so I added some olive oil and have been utilising it as an after work snack with some crackers. Waste nothing!

Salmon with Pesto Butter Bean mash and mediterranean vegetables

1 serve

  • 1 Piece of Salmon
  • 2 slices of eggplant
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of butter beans
  • 3 tsp of pesto
  • 2 tbsp of white wine
  • Juice and zest of half and hour
  • Basil
  • Flour
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Salt 2 slices of eggplant and leave aside for 15 mins until some of the bitter juices have drained out. Pat dry and Put on an oiled baking sheet. Add 4 cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Add to 220 degree oven and cook for 15-20 mins or until eggplant is starting to crisp and go brown at the edges and the tomatoes have started to burst and gone soft.

2. Fill a pot with water and put on the stove. Add the butter beans to the water and bring the water to the boil. Once they reach the boil, take of the heat and set aside. The aim is not to cook the beans, they don’t need it but you want them warm and slightly softened to make them easier to mash.

3. Coat fish in flour lemon zest and a good pinch of salt.

Fish cooking

4. Heat ½ tbsp. of butter in a hot pan, when it has started to foam add a small amount of oil to stop the butter burning and then add salmon skin side down. Cook for 3-5 mins or until brown and the skin is crisp. Turn fish and cook for another 3 mins on the other side. The salmon should still be slightly rare and deeply coral coloured in the centre. Put fish aside to rest.

5. Drain the butter beans, place back in the pot with white wine and pesto and mash with a potato masher. If you think the mixture needs more fluid or oil add until you get the consistency you are after. Season with a good pinch of salt.

Pesto and bean mash

6, Lay the eggplant slices on the bottom, topped with mash and the piece of salmon. Place the tomatoes on the plate and top everything with torn basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Tasty mediterranean inspired salmon

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