I seem to have been doing a series of posts lately about being creative with leftovers. In French, that's called l'art d'accommoder les restes. The 1967 Larousse Gastronomique food and cooking encyclopedia even devotes an article to it (under restes). « L'art d'accommoder les restes passe, le plus souvent, pour le summum de la science culinaire. » — "The art of making good use of leftovers often passes for the highest form of culinary skill."
The author of the article points out that cooks certainly need to be careful that the reason why they have a lot of leftovers is not just that they aren't managing their kitchen properly, or that the people they are serving just don't like the way the food was prepared. If the cook intentionally cooks more food than can be consumed in one sitting, what is left over is not called restes but « la desserte ». I'm going to claim that I'm that kind of cook. Besides, nowadays we have freezers...
Anyway, when I cooked black-eyed peas for our January 1 lunch, I decided to cook a whole kilo bag of dried peas. That makes for enough cooked black-eyes pour un régiment, as they say in France, or "enough to feed Coxey's army," as my mother used to say. You'll have to look that up.
On the right are two pieces of duck confit that I bought at the supermarket.
My original idea was to eat the black-eyed peas not only with the "side meat" (smoked pork belly) that cooked with them and a couple of saucisses de Toulouse, but also with a couple of slow-cooked duck legs, or cuisses de canard confites. On the actual day, that seemed like overdoing it, so I saved the duck idea for later. Later was yesterday.
So first I browned the duck legs in a baking pan in a hot oven, alongside the dish of beans that needed re-heating. When the beans were hot and the duck legs were lightly browned, I put the meat on top of the beans, along with some of the fat they had released, and browned everything for a little bit longer (as you see above). Voilà ! Un cassoulet de haricots cornille... Black-eyed pea cassoulet. I had made a salad of escarole and beets as an accompaniment.
Earlier in the week, I had used some of the black-eyed peas as part of a filling, with some smoked meat, rice, and hot sauce, for a batch of Mexican-style enchiladas that Walt wrapped up and we baked. Of course, I still have some of the rice and bean filling left over. Tex-Mex-style burritos are on the menu for the coming week.