Tag Archives: fennel

Sugar-Coated Fennel Seeds

5 Jul

I do enjoy something sweet after dinner… not necessarily dessert, but something sweet to freshen my breath and possibly, help me with digestion.

I am used to a little minty something after a restaurant dinner… but in India, you get served sugar-coated fennel seeds.

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In paper, if I read fennel seeds coated in sugar I would probably say, PASS!! But without knowing what they were, I popped a few of these sugary treats in my mouth and they’re delicious!!

I have learned they are great to help you digest your dinner and they help simmer down the effects of spicy foods.

So if you have an Indian market nearby, seek out these delicious treats – sugar-coated fennel seeds.

 

Vegetable Pot Pie

27 Oct

The casseroles I grew up with were pastelones… so when I listen on TV to recreate a food from your childhood and people mention a pot pie, I can’t really relate.  My mom told me she used to buy some frozen pot pies when we were little kids… I honestly do not recall at all.

But I have been intrigued by pot pies for some time now.  I guess I am drawn to a puff pastry topping… which in my book is always welcome. And when I saw a recipe from Ina Garten for Vegetable Pot Pie, I kind of wondered “why didn’t I think of that one on my own?”  I guess because I was intrigued about it, but without a real reference from before, it’s not something I truly crave or miss.

Now that I have been staying with my sister in Southern Florida, there’s a great abundance of winter squashes and pumpkins…  Autumn and Halloween are nearing, definitely.  And it’s also the perfect excuse to make this recipe for all the “paussy” that’s staying here.  It’s definitely a recipe challenging to make just for one.

 

VEGETABLE POT PIE

1 stick of butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced
½ cup spelt flour + ¼ cup additional for the puff pastry
2 cups organic vegetable broth
4 tbs of heavy cream
1 large baking Idaho potato
1 medium butternut squash
2 small carrots
About 1 cup of asparagus, sliced small – left over from the asparagus tart I had made earlier in the week
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
Sea Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Olive oil
1 sheet puffed pastry

 

  1. In a medium sauce pan filled with salted boiling water, parboil the potatoes and the butternut squash pieces for about 10 minutes.  Take them out and set them aside.
  2. Bring that same salted water to a boil again and par-cook the asparagus and carrots for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and fennel and sauté until softened and translucent for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the flour and stir it all together and allow the flour and butter to cook thru about 3-5 minutes.  Slowly, add the stock and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.  Add the heavy cream.
  5. Add the cooked potatoes, butternut squash, asparagus and carrots.  Mix well to combine.  Add the parsley and allow to cook for a few additional minutes.  Cover and turn off the stove.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  7. Take the thawed puffed pastry and roll it out a bit to fade as much as possible the creases.  Measure the ramekins or the pot where you will bake the pot pie and cut the puff pastry about ½” over the size of the mouth of the ramekin.  
  8. Spread a little of heavy cream over the rim of the ramekin to make the puff pastry to stick to the edge of the ramekin. 
  9. Make a few slits on top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.  Brush a bit of extra heavy cream over the puff pastry to make it golden brown in the oven.
  10. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper… this is important because the filling will boil and might spill and you do not want that to be on the bottom of the oven.
  11. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry on top is golden brown.

 

I served this with a side salad… but you can even enjoy the filling without the pastry.  It’s a delicious stew all its own.   My sister was wary of the fennel and it really adds a nice dimension of texture and flavor to the filling.

A pot pie still does not represent in my mind the epitome of comfort food, but definitely its something I have learned to appreciate and enjoy… hopefully many more times in the future.

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