Aug
22
    
Posted (Lori) in News

TOMATO-FENNEL SOUP

By Joanne Smart Fine Cooking Issue 81

Servings: three to four as a light main course.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds, chopped

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 cup low-salt canned chicken broth; more as needed

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk

Freshly ground black pepper

In a 4-qt. saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a big pinch of salt. Cook until softened but not browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.         Add the tomatoes, broth, and orange juice. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium or medium low and simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors.

Remove the soup from the heat. Using a hand blender or a regular blender, purée the soup. Add the milk and if the soup seems thick, add more chicken broth until thinned to your liking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, gently reheat before serving.

BRAISED PEPPERS WITH FENNEL AND OLIVES

From NYT, Florence Fabricant

2 medium-sized fennel bulbs (about 1 1/4 pounds)

2 medium bell peppers

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup pitted black French, Italian or Greek olives

PREPARATION

Remove stalks and any browned outer layers of the fennel and cut each bulb into quarters lengthwise. Cut off and discard core from each piece. Holding the layers together, cut each fennel piece into one-quarter-inch slices lengthwise, to obtain long strips.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove core and ribs. Cut in half crosswise and cut each quarter into lengthwise strips about one-quarter inch wide.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add fennel and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add peppers. Cover and continue cooking about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings but be cautious with the salt because the olives will add some saltiness.

Transfer fennel and peppers to a platter, top with olives and serve.

SPICED COUSCOUS WITH FENNEL AND ROASTED RED PEPPERS

By Tony Rosenfeld, Fine Cooking

Servings: 4 to 6

Couscous is the culinary equivalent of a blank canvas. It soaks up and showcases whatever flavors—spicy, sweet, savory—are added to it. For our rendition, fennel serves as the aromatic base for this fragrant side dish.

1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (1-1/2 cups)

Kosher salt

1 medium clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. chipotle powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 jarred roasted red peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1-1/4 cups)

1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth

1-1/2 cups couscous

3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the fennel starts to brown and soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cumin, chipotle powder, and cinnamon; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds until the spices become fragrant. Add the red peppers and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit until the liquid is absorbed; check after 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the cilantro. Taste the couscous and season with salt as needed; serve immediately.

ROASTED FENNEL AND PEPPERS RECIPE

Fennel goes great with grilled meats. Best of all, it’s full of flavor, easy to do and doesn’t seem light at all!  From A Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking Test Kitchen

6 servings

2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced

2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

Fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, optional

Place the fennel, peppers, onion and garlic in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper and rubbed sage. Toss to coat.

Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until tender, stirring twice. Garnish with fresh sage if desired. Yield: 6 servings.



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