18 12 2008

It always pops up in the unlikeliest places, the most unexpected times.  I often find myself wandering the market aimlessly, without a clue as to what to do with any of the gorgeous produce on display.  And then I’ll be lying in bed, or standing in line at the post office, and all of a sudden my brain shouts, “Shrimp and chorizo frittata!  With green salad and sweet onion vinaigrette!”  This can be brought on by pondering the contents of the still-malfunctioning fridge (which, as of this afternoon, FINALLY, has been fixed – hooray!), but that takes a little more focus.  And then there’s the time you read a recipe in a magazine, cookbook, or food blog, and you realize you have all the ingredients in the kitchen already.  This is rare and awesome.  Usually it’s more like you read a recipe, decide you must have it right now, and run to the store for ingredients despite the rapidly wilting spinach in the fridge.

an enduring favorite

This dinner definitely falls into the latter category.  I read this post on [eatingclub] vancouver, and I loved the sound of a creamy fennel sauce on pasta.  Plus I am a total sucker for wild mushrooms, so it was a done deal.  I’m glad they didn’t post an actual recipe, that way free interpretation is much easier.

These girolles were straight from the forest

Like when I realized I didn’t have any roasted garlic, didn’t feel like making any, and didn’t care.  I just caramelized the fennel a bit to get that deep sweet flavor, then braised it in white wine until it was very tender.  With the aid of my trusty immersion blender, I puréed the fennel into a thick sauce.

Braised fennel sauce

I finished it with a little cream, and kept it warm while I sautéed the girolles with a little fresh parsley.

Sautéeing girolles

I stirred it all up with some whole-wheat spaghetti, garnished with some reserved fennel fronds (I just love how delicate they are!) and dinner was served.

Pasta with braised fennel cream sauce and girolles

Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




6 responses

18 12 2008

The dish looks delicios! I think I stared at the sautéed mushrooms photo for to long… just beautiful!

19 12 2008

What a great way to use fennel, I’m bookmarking this one!

20 12 2008

I love how awkward fennel and wild mushrooms always look — and then they come together so beautifully here. Delicious inspiration, I say.

22 12 2008
Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer

I’ve never cooked with fennel. Maybe it’s time to try it out.

When you have a minute, come check out the award show on our blog – you are a recipient (as if it’s a big surprise when three of us read you regularly – haha) 😀

23 12 2008

Creamy – yum. Fennel – yum. Wild mushrooms – double yum! Can I come over for dinner?

25 12 2008

baking – Thanks! Wild mushrooms are great, aren’t they?

Sam – I love finding new ways to cook favorite ingredients!

Trisha – I think sometimes the strangest looking foods turno out to be the most delicious. 🙂

Kristy – You definitely should – it’s become one of my very favorite vegetables in the last couple of years. And thanks for the award! I’ve been a bit out of the loop lately, but I’ll be back to my regular blog reading/commenting in the New Year!

Jessica – If you’re ever in Paris… 😉

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