Posts Tagged ‘fennel


leek and mushroom soup

2 leeks left from the market , What to do with them. I had eaten some in a salad recently but I figured I could make a soup before the leeks dried out.

Sliced the leaks in the food processor, with 1/2 a white onion. In the soup pot sweated with a combination of butter, olive oil and seeds, fennel, caraway, celery and a touch of saffron. Course salt and quad mix pepper to taste, gifts of Hawaiian sea salt and  Himalayan pink salt were used.

Sweat the leeks covered at the simmer while dried mushrooms soaked, simply place the mushrooms in a glass container and use heated water from a single serving coffee machine (Keurig) however may cups it take to fully soak the mushrooms. Let steep while the leeks simmer for about 20 minutes.

Drain the mushrooms, chop if needed. Add flour by eye to the leak mixture and cook a bit more to provide the consistency of the soup.

Add stock (or water) to leek mixture and simmer till it thickens, add the drained mushrooms. Adjust viscosity if needed. I poured about 1/2 the volume of the soup to a food processor, processed till creamy by adding a bit of heavy cream and  milk and returned it to the pan with the unprocessed remainder so some leeks are present in the soup.

Excellent soup the only downside is that I didn’t have any toast to accompany the soup as dough was rising at the time.


Roasted Lamb shank and veggies.

The weather is cooling somewhat, not the cold blustery wind yet but a good day for a slow roasted lamb shank and veggies to be in the oven while I finished mulching up the leaves in the front yard, run several errands and do the required Sunday routine around the house. 

Nothing exotic here as you probably guessed, fennel sweetened the dish along with the usual veggies.  I don’t get lamb that often so it was a delicious meal to draw to a close the Thankgiving weekend. You may have the Friday after Thankgiving off and when combined with the weekend a longer respite from work than Christmas.

I tried to cut the bone to fit the pan but it just fit after trimming some of the meat from the bone. The rest of it shrank. 

The ingredients are self explanatory.  A small amount of broth was added with light seasonings.


En papillote

Cooking en papillote, or in parchment paper, is a classic technique for preparing delicious and healthy meals.
I guess I’m partial to cooking  utilizing the oven probably more often during the colder months. It’s also a set and forget method where you don’t have to constantly be at the stove top. 

Cooking with parchment has advantage of disposable clean up as paper is the cooking vessel. And for sure predates the plastic cooking bags that were popular a while back.

The contents of your paper container is limitless.

Bonus counter cam view



Roasted veggie risotto 

Rice …. I could be a rice a holic ( only if my spell checker lets me!)

Just be satisfied with a bowl of rice?  .. Well not exactly..

I’ve made rice several ways and a risotto method can be quick and leaves some room for additions.

By eye about 1 and 1/2 cups of rice to about double the amount of broth.

Have the broth brought up to a boil and simmering before you get started.

Some dice roasted veggies , here onion, fennel, garlic and carrot , ready to go.

A bit of butter to the pan and toss the rice till coated and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Usually here you add finely  diced onion, but veggies will be added later.

Also you don’t have to use aborio rice to get decent results. I use usually what ever I have on the shelve.

Have the pan at medium high heat… And add the broth, be aware that it may steam up a spatter somewhat…

I add a bit less than half the broth.

The basic risotto lesson….STIR , that’s all…

I keep it a medium high heat , not to boil the hell out of it, you want the rice to absorb the water, not evaporate it.

When most of the broth is absorbed… Add more, you’ll want to divi up the remainder of the simmering broth when adding to the rice for about 2 or 3 additions. STIR…  repeat the process with the remaining broth.

Once all the broth has been added or your rice is close to the consistency you enjoy, add the veggies.

Stir and heat through, and now the final and best step , add grated cheese (again by eye) usually Romano or Parmesan OFF HEAT. ….and STIR….

Plate it up !

MMMMMM…… Work shirt approved!



Oriental Beef Ribs

Why I decided  to go oriental style ?  Don’t know ,  possibly I read a recipe using 5 spice powder. Not having any 5 spice powder would require me to make some. 

Scavenging together the ingredients. Just approximated the ratio of ingredients from other recipes.

The more you look the more variations of 5 spice powder recipes you find. Since their was no fennel seed in the closet, I settled for dried fennel.

All into the fry pan in a slow oven to toast the herb and spices. 

Hand ground. 




Reserve enough for the ribs, any left overs to a spice bottle.


Ahhhhhhh… The aroma !

Now onto the ribs……


 A good massage with the 5 spice with an addition of salt and dried hot red pepper.

Over night to the fridge.Next day ready  for roasting,  a braver soul would have slow cooked them over charcoals out in the  cold.

Racked up to the oven.

Slow oven 250 to 275 for several hours gauging by the pull back of the meat from the bone.

Drain the fat and sauté onions,  deglaze with hard cider, add additional 5 spice powder and some hoisin sauce.

Plate it up over a bed of rice. Could have made some moo sho pancakes, (flour and water rolled dough) and wrapped the meat with fresh onion and sauce similar to a Peking duck. Another alternative would be rolled up in some big ass greens, bok choi etc. 

As it stands it didn’t take me long to be full, l suppose it’s beneficial that I’m more conscious  of my weight !

They were not, as it usually described, falling off the bone. There is enough chew and caveman teeth work to get the bones clean , the meat being tender with just enough fat and a bit of gristle to make it a authentic beefy rib, not something that has been trimmed of all fat and cartilage. Good Eats!


Roasted Veggies with barley

   Too simple…
Prepare barley

1 cup barley to 2 1/2 cup water
While the barley simmers, cut and dice vegetables.
White onion
Green onion
I used a almost a whole fennel, including some of the stems diced like celery.

Medium dice on the bulb, and some of the fennel tips.
White onion, medium dice.
Green onions, medium dice, both the white portion and green stems.
Carrots cut to similar size.
Toss with salt, pepper, oil, a bit of rosemary.

Cut a piece of parchment paper about double the size of the baking sheet. Center the parchment paper on the baking sheet, add the veggies and fold and seal the paper, all edges to enclose the veggies.
Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour.

The fennel is very flavorable with the accompanying veggies , no other seasonings were needed.

Serve over barley.


The texture of the veggies were just right, not mushy, not too crisp.

With added broth, would be a good soup.


seed combo bread/dough

approximately 1 tablespoon or less of the following seeds

  • sesame
  • cumin
  • caraway
  • fennel
  • celery
  • black sesame
  • flax
  • dill
  • poppy
  • chia
  • psyllium


added to a standard white bread recipe


Dense crumb,  the seeds add variety to regular white loaf.

Less flour and a wetter dough results in a lighter loaf.


Red onion flatbread

IMG_3017 IMG_3016

very tasty


February 2023

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