We finally are home relaxing and cooking. Yesterday was such a rough day. It is nice to have nothing on our agenda. We decided to do an American Thanksgiving meal. B is going to cook up 13 pounds turkey. I’m a bit scared, but thrilled that he volunteered to do American classic dishes. I’m sure Stares will be happy to have herself some turkey as well. I’m going to make orange and pastis braised baby fennel to contribute to our little family dinner. I can’t get enough of this yummy veggie during the autumn months. It is not completely American. However I think it will taste great with the turkey and other classic dishes.
We have been eating this dish several times this month. It is so delicious. I learned this secret recipe from my friend’s family Marie-Christine via Paris. If you don’t have or can’t find pastis. You can substitute pastis by using a couple of anise seeds and broth or water instead. The anise should be subtle enough to play up the natural aroma of the fennel while the orange gives it a nice floral and sweet scent. You can definitely use regular sized fennel for this recipe as well. Here is the recipe. Wishing all of you a delightful Thanksgiving.
2 bunches baby fennel or 2 medium bulbs fennel (fronds discarded – keep them for salads!)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I love using clementines. they are in season right now)
zest of one orange
1/4 to 1/3 cup Pastis (or you can substitute anise for pastis. equivalent in water + 2 star anise)
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the baby fennels in half lengthwise. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan (I like to use cast iron as much as possible) set over medium high heat and sautee the baby fennels until they start to get golden. Add the orange juice, orange zest, Pastis and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the baby fennel is fork tender, 40 minutes to an hour. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the liquids reduce to a syrup and coat the fennel completely. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.