Friday, 2 November 2012

Friday quickie: Pan fried fennel and onion

I have so many weird things and oddities when it comes to cooking. Well, to be completely honest, I think I'm just weird in general based on how different my conception of life, love and everything else seems to be to the majority of people on this planet. But without going more into detail about that (because it would take a week long therapy session), the one food weirdness I was specifically referring to in this case is how I love love love when you come across a recipe and realise you have all the ingredients readily available at home. No need to nip of to the store to buy just a little bit of this, a jar of that or a tin of some sorts. 

I also love buying foods that stay good in the fridge for a while. Salads, lettuce and tomatoes all have to be eaten very quickly. But then you have your carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, celery. They will nicely keep in the fridge for more than a week, and you can turn to them when you have eaten all your foods which go bad quickly. And this time, in my fridge, I had very little else than a lonely bulb of fennel. I had planned to use it for a soup or stew or whatnot, but because of the great fire of 2012, I forgot all about it. Until I had eaten pretty much everything else from my fridge. And I try not to grocery shop during the week, mostly for practical reasons. First of all, if you only shop once a week (and have to carry everything home for the duration of a 35-40 minute walk from the supermarket) you tend to focus on the essentials, and not grab too many impulse buys. I always try to plan my eating ahead for one week, jut it into my food diary and make a shopping list. This works well if you have the whole weekend free to shop and cook. But that hasn't quite happened in the last... say four months or so. Funny coincidence that.

So there it was, the lonely fennel. The fridge light casting harsh shadows on the triple protruding fingerlike extremities. Poor fennel, feeling lost, alone and forgotten. But fear not! There is a place for you, dear fennel, a reason for your existence. And that place is of course in a pan, with some butter. It took me a while to figure it out, but Google helped me find this recipe from Eatpress. And dear fennel, because I didn't want you to feel lonely, I decided to add an onion to the pan to keep you company.

Pan fried fennel (serves 1-2):
1 bulb of fennel
1 onion
1 tsp oil
1 tsp butter 
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used 12 year aged pomegranate balsamic vinegar)

The howto:
Slice fennel and onion. Heat oil and butter in a pan, and add fennel and onion slices when butter has turned golden. Cook until desired consistency, about five minutes. Move fennel and onion onto a plate, and add balsamic vinegar to the pan. Make sure to scrape off all that butter and burned bits from the pan. Cook the vinegar for a minute or two until it has thickened a bit. Pour on top of the veggies and serve immediately.

The verdict:
I rarely use butter for frying, I always go for vegetable or coconut oil. So this really tasted like restaurant food to me, with the lovely flavour from the butter combining with the sweetness from the balsamic and the aniseed flavour of the fennel. Really simple ingredients, simple and quick to make and tasted absolutely divine. This will be my preferred way to serve fennel.  

1 comment:

  1. Love the look of your version! Aged pomegranate balsamic sounds like an incredible addition! Yum.