I wasn’t sure what to call this condiment — it is a jarred, preserved sauce (so it could be called simply “preserves”). But it doesn’t have to be; it could also be used immediately, like any old sauce. It’s sweetened with sugar so it could be a jam, but it has enough savory complexity to qualify (I think) for a chutney. It also has a strong dose of vinegar so it might as well be an agrodolce — the tangy, … Read More
Last week, I cooked for a dinner party. We had roast chicken, stuffed with farro and chestnuts, a thick reduction sauce made from its drippings, and a crisp winter salad with shaved vegetables not including one stray fennel bulb that had gotten lost in the refrigerator. The next day, I simmered this soup on the stove with the remnants of the night’s meal. We had gone to see the Nutcracker, and this was our pre-show feast. I dare say that … Read More
There are so many things you can do with fennel, that I don’t know where to begin. Slivered and sauteed just like onions creates a caramelized, anise-tasting substitute in a savory beef stew. You can lop off the stalks, which most people sadly don’t use, and chop them up like celery to use instead of that, in soup and stock. The fronds are mild-tasting, but they make a distinct, sweet garnish that makes me wonder why I haven’t steeped them … Read More
Really, now? Fennel pie? Are you going to eat (and cook) that? I asked myself these same things, too. And while I was making this pie, at the Photojojo Food Photo Safari on Sunday, I heard many similar concerns from lookers-on. (I told you winter was a tricky time of year for finding seasonal pie fillings!) But, the great thing about cooking, especially in the name of fun with friends, is that nothing worse than a pile of dog’s dinner … Read More
Winter was a good time for oxtails when I was growing up. My dad was fond of the Basque oxtail recipe in Jeff Smith’s The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors, a really good soupy dish perfect for sopping up with warm crusty bread. There wasn’t much meat on those starburst-shaped discs of bone; it was about the flavor, and of course the gelatinous cartilage that felt slightly more jellyfish-like than fat in your mouth.