fennel

All posts tagged fennel

Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fennel

Published March 28, 2016 by jenmatteson

I love sweet potatoes. While they seem to be more of a fall/winter vegetable, I can eat them all year long. As a matter of fact, this recipe is wonderful to make in the summertime while you are grilling. Throw everything together and in the oven, and forget about it for about an hour. All you have to do is watch the meat and make sure you have a fresh drink!What more could you ask for?

Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The brown sugar adds just a hint of sweetness to these potatoes, while the fennel pulls it all together with a pop of freshness, especially using the green tops. This is great for entertaining, or making it on Sunday for a week-long reheatable side dish.

Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fennel

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
4 fennel bulbs, halfed lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch wedges, some of the feathery tops finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground mace
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and fennel with olive oil, brown sugar, mace, salt and pepper.

2. Spread the vegetables on a foil lined baking pan. Roast for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and fennel are tender and caramelized. Transfer them to a platter, sprinkle with t he fennel tops and serve.

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Skip the Restaurant, Cook and Home: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Published February 6, 2014 by jenmatteson

My girlfriend was coming over for dinner last Friday night.  She had originally suggested going out for seafood, but seeing as though I’m not working, I countered with cooking in.  I know, not quite as exciting (though, it can be with enough wine and Just Dance).  But I did splurge a little and get us some scallops, which was perfect, as I had this recipe waiting for use.  Unfortunately, she had some car trouble so she wasn’t able to make it.  Fortunately for Nate, that meant he got leftovers 😛  The scallops with the fennel was absolutely outstanding.  I amped it up slightly by serving them over a parsnip puree, and drizzled with truffle oil.  It wasn’t necessary by any means, but why not add a little luxury into our simple lives? Sorry the pictures are so gross – not very good lighting late and night, but this was too good not to share with you!

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Oh, and what the heck is a “grenobloise”?  It’s just a fancy French term for “sauce of brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon”.  It makes for a much shorter recipe name: Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise vs. Scallops with Fennel, Brown Butter, Capers, Parsley and Lemon.  Yeah, I’ll take the first one.  But how do you pronounce it so you don’t sound like a dope?  You really can’t, but if you must try, here’s a little help: “grewn-o-blwahz”.  Seriously.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

This is the second time I’ve made scallops at home, and they are so easy to make.  Don’t be scared to try!  A few key tips: 1) Make sure the scallops are very dry before placing in a hot pan.  I laid mine between paper towels in the fridge a few hours before I planned to make them.  2) Get your pan nice and hot.  3) Be patient and don’t move once you get them in the pan.  This will get that nice crisp sear on the outside while keeping the middle warm and opaque.  4) Don’t overcrowd your pan.  Placing the scallops too close together will steam them instead of searing them.  YOU DO NOT WANT THIS.  I promise, follow these tips, and you can’t screw them up.  The simple taste of the scallops paired great with the rich taste of the fennel.  Open a nice bottle of wine and make this for your honey this Valentine’s Day instead of braving the crowds and overpriced menus.

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb sea scallops
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. capers, drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over moderately high heat.  Season both sides of scallops with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes on each side (DO NOT move in the pan – this will allow them to sear properly).  Transfer to platter and keep warm.

2. Melt butter in same skillet.  Add fennel and capers and cook over high heat, stirring until the fennel is crisp-tender and lightly golden, about 2 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon fennel around the scallops and garnish with chopped fennel fronds, serve with lemon wedges.

Fennel Whipped Potatoes

Published November 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

A little less than a month ago, we had a gala for the local chamber that I am a part of.  This year, I was the co-chair of the gala planning committee.  One of the great perks of this role is do a menu tasting and pick out what we want to serve at the event.  The best thing I tasted that day was fennel whipped potatoes, which oddly enough, ended up on the gala menu 😉  I was looking forward to the day of the gala for weeks, just thinking about getting to eat those potatoes again.  Sadly, they weren’t as good as the first time 😦

But, the good news is that I have the capability to make them myself.  So I did, for our friend’s Thanksgiving over the weekend.  I changed up the recipe a bit, as I couldn’t bear to not have butter in my potatoes on Thanksgiving (maybe when it’s just Nate and I, I’ll try the olive oil).  Also, I ended up making more than 4 lbs of potatoes (someone told me it didn’t look like enough – and now we’ll be eating potatoes until they’re coming out our eyeballs!), probably more like 8 lbs.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any more fennel bulbs than what the recipe called for, so while I could taste the fennel, there wasn’t quite enough for my potato addition.  These were still fun to try for a new spin on Thanksgiving, plus I got to use my new (very old, new to me) potato ricer (thanks, Mom!)  Boy, were my arms hurting after ricing 8 lbs of potatoes 😦  These potatoes were so fluffly and light, I can’t wait to make them again!

Fennel Whipped Potatoes

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt
3 medium fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup half and half
8 tbsp unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water, add salt, and bring to a boil.  Cook potatoes over moderately high heat until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, set a steamer basket in a large saucepan with 1/2-inch boiling water.  Add fennel, cover and steam over moderate heat until tender, about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Transfer fennel to food processor or blender.  Add half and half and puree.

3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.  Shake potatoes over high heat until thoroughly dry.  Working over a large bowl, mash the potatoes through a ricer.  Using a hand mixer, whip potatoes and add in butter and fennel puree.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fennel, Red Onion and Focaccia Stuffing

Published November 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’m a very traditional stuffing kind of girl.  Nate likes sausage in his stuffing.  We made two last year so we could both be happy.  This year, we’re not hosting our family for Thanksgiving, but we did celebrate the Saturday prior with our very good friends from Wisconsin.

I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity for us to branch out and try a new stuffing (or dressing as my grammie called it).  Since our friends are not picky eaters whatsoever, I was excited to try something new.  Maybe it would become our new favorite kind of stuffing…

The stuffing was good, but there were a few things I would change for the next time I make it.  I used sea salt focaccia, which I think worked well, but onion would have given it a little more flavor (I couldn’t find any and didn’t have time to make my own).  Also, the 1-inch dice was a little large for me, I would have cubed the bread in 1/2-inch pieces.  Finally, the fennel and onion pieces were too large as well, so I would have diced instead of sliced them.  So the only thing that really affected the flavor of the stuffing was not using the onion focaccia.  Oh, and over toasting it.  I followed the Food and Wine instructions to toast it for 30 minutes, at 375 degrees, stirring once halfway through, but it was far too much time.  My bread did get a slightly over toasted (which wasn’t an issue for consistency, but for flavor), and that flavor translated into the stuffing.  I altered the recipe below so the same mistake doesn’t happen to you.

I’ll be making this again in the future, and with the improvements, and I’ll post a picture then.  With all the commotion, I didn’t get a chance to get a halfway decent picture – but enjoy of picture of us enjoying it 😉  And in case you’re wondering, yes, we did enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner in our pjs!

Fennel, Red Onion, and Focaccia Stuffing

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 lbs plain or onion focaccia, cut into 1-inch dice (about 16 cups)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored and sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
2 red onions, halved and sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread focaccia on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Toast until dry and golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsps of butter in the olive oil.  Add the fennel and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 15 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme and fennel seeds and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the focaccia.  Add stock and toss until bread is evenly moistened.  Season with salt and pepper.

3. * See note.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 tbsp of butter.  Transfer stuffing mixture into the baking dish and top with remaining butter.  Cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes longer, until the top is golden and crisp.

* If you are stuffing your turkey, now would be the time to stuff it and bake stuffing with turkey.  Don’t forget to adjust your turkey cooking time if it’s stuffed (it’ll take longer).

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