fennel fish again
We'd already had some experience with fennel and fish before and it was
good, but a little labor intensive. SO when this newspaper quickie recipe
appeared, bob was motivated to act. The recipe flipped its way out of the paper
into pole position on the kitchen counter in the (overflowing with good
intentions) cookbook holder jammed with printouts and clippings, most victims of
the perpetual problem of American life, lack of time to plan actual
implementation. Halibut and fennel, an H fish. Unfortunately bob's memory being
what it is for detail, at least for certain details, when looking for the H fish at the local farmer's market there were only
haddock fillets and no halibut. Of course if he'd thought about it, he would
remember from experience that halibut is a big fish quite unlike haddock filets,
but hey, this could work with lots of different fish.
Since our discover of fennel at the Rome central train station, we've been
keeping it in our food radar crosshairs, picking it up for raw additions to
salads as well as an occasional baked (though pre-boiled) delivery. This time we
got our our rarely used Titanium chef's knife to thinly slice it up before
boiling to soften it up a bit before finishing it off with parmigiano in the
oven. It did the job. No doubt another less glamorous knife would have sufficed.
We opened up a white wine hand carried from Italy for the last step, but in
our makeover, that step was aborted. The wine was a good partner for the
finished dish though. And a big salad. It doesn't take much to whip
up a good home cooked meal from scratch. Who's buying all that packaged prepared
food at the supermarket? More to the point, why are they buying all that
packaged prepared food at the supermarket? Hmm. Let's not get sidetracked on
Go find a fish and some fennel and try out some version of this recipe.
- fennel precursor
- 2 fennel bulbs, stalks removed and fronds reserved
- 1 T butter or olive oil
- 1/4 t coarse (sea or kosher) salt
- fish stuff
- 3 halibut steaks, about 8oz each or any mild fishsteaks or
swordfish, snapper, trout or whitefish (what, no haddock?)
- 3/4 t coarse (sea or kosher) salt
- 1/2 t cracked pepper
- 1/4 t ground red pepper
- 2 T butter or olive oil
- fish topper/finisher
- 1/2 c grated parmigiano
- 1/4 c Pernod (see below) or dry white wine (or broth for alcohol avoiders)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Heat a medium pan
of water to boil.
- Wash, trim and slice up the fennel bulbs
into thin pieces, setting aside some of the cleaned fronds for garnish if
you appreciate food aesthetics.
- Boil the fennel 10 minutes and drain. Toss
in a bowl with the remaining precursor ingredients and set that aside too.
- Meanwhile (that means in parallel) season
the fish with the fish spices. Heat the butter over medium high heat in a
large oven safe skillet and then add the fish and cook until lightly browned
on one side, about 3 minutes.
- Arrange the fennel around the fish and
sprinkle the fennel with parmigiano.
- Roast (in that oven) until the fish is
almost cooked through, about 7 minutes.
- Transfer the fish to a platter and keep
- Reheat the skillet over high heat and add
the alcohol, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan, and cook 1
- Spoon this sauce over the fish and garnish
with the fennel fronds.
- Nutritional content per serving, assuming it feeds 6 people: 261Cal, 27g
Prot, 6g Carb, 13g Fat, 67mg Chol, 682mg Sodium, 2g Fiber.
- Pernod? It's that anise family
of hard drinks again (ouzo, arak, sambuca, etc). Feel free to try one of these
- Courtesy of Knight-Ridder New Service, dedicated to excessive profits over fourth
estate responsibilities, Philly Inquirer, January 6, 2005, Halibut with
Fennel and Parmesan by Carol Mighton Haddix. Carol reminds us that fennel is
one of those overlooked vegetables. We quite agree. And she characterizes
this combo of mild fish and fennel with parmesan as quick and elegant. You