Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celery and Fennel with Bacon

My man and I found ourselves saddled with an entire bunch of celery recently and were trying to figure out what to do with it, having decided that we didn't especially want celery soup. I searched on Epicurious (such a useful iPhone app) and turned up this recipe. I'd never actually tried cooking fennel before, so I was intrigued. Although it sounds like a lot of effort, it was pretty easy - especially if you mod the recipe a little bit.

Basically, you chop the fennel and celery and boil them for 2 minutes (in salted water), then pull 'em out and run cold water over them. Cook the bacon in whole slices, and as it cooks, chop the shallots. When the bacon's done, set it on some paper towels and dump the shallots into the fat. Saute for a few minutes, add the celery and fennel and saute for another 10 minutes or so. Then add a cup of chicken broth and simmer until it's mostly gone. Crumble the bacon in, and voila, you're done. Sure, maybe the celery and fennel leaves and parsley would have been nice. But it was just fine without them. The picture on Epicurious is totally wrong, here's what it actually looks like:

I was actually surprised by how delicious this was. The celery was surprisingly flavorful. The fennel's anise-y flavor paired beautifully with the bacon - and this is coming from someone who despises licorice. The texture was maybe a a wee bit more mushy - especially the celery - than I might have liked - I'd probably cut down the chicken broth a bit, I guess? And upped the bacon, definitely. But overall, it was fantastic.

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