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Endive, Radish and Fennel Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette


Looking to add some life to your dinner salad? This easy answer comes from celebrity chef Jeffrey Saad.

“The peppery bite of radishes and the bright licorice crunch of fennel ignite the endive in this salad,” he writes in his new cookbook, “Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders” (Ballantine Books, $22). The vinaigrette is light yet full of flavor, infused with the sharp sweetness of shallots and the subtle umami of anchovy — a perfect beginning to osso bucco or anything heavy meat course.”

Endive, Radish and Fennel Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus a squeeze to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
3 cups thinly sliced fennel
3 cups thinly sliced endive
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, puree the lemon juice, shallots, mustard, anchovy paste, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt until smooth. Strain, pressing out all the liquid. Discard the solids.

In a small bowl, toss the radishes and fennel with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the squeeze of lemon juice. Make sure the radishes and fennel are cut thin and lay fairly flat in the marinade so that they marinate evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the radishes, fennel and endive. Using tongs, mix with some of the vinaigrette and taste. Evenly coat the endive.

Divide among four plates. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders”

 

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Ask a Foodie: Low-carb Salmon Ideas?


Enjoy two low-carbohydrate ways to prepare salmon fillets.

Q. The doctor just put me on a strict low-carb diet, and he told me to eat more fish. Any ideas? I like salmon.

— William G.

A. It’s easy to cut carbohydrates down in many savory dishes without losing flavor (desserts are another matter).  One place to look for low-carb ideas is cookbooks that cater to diabetics. That’s where the two salmon recipes below originated. They are from the new “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown (American Diabetes Association, $18.95). But beware: Not all of the recipes are low-carb, so read the nutritional analysis before cooking.

The two recipes were chosen from an entire chapter on salmon because they are made in two different ways. One is grilled, the other is poached. That way, you can vary your method and still keep your carb count low.

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
1 pound thick salmon fillet, skinless, cut into 4 portions
2 teaspoons salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
2 pounds thin asparagus, ends broken off and placed in a bowl of water

Place olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and heat until garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 mintues. Add basil and turn heat off. Whisk in lemon juice. Set aside.

Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat grill pan for a few minutes. Drain asparagus and place on grill pan. Cover and roast asparagus for 3 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove cover. Brush salmon with lemon garlic bath. Place ont he grill pan. cook first side until a nice crust forms. Turn and cook second side. if you want your salmon well done, the lid can be placed on the grill pan.

Place asparagus on a serving plate. Top with salmon. Drizzle with lemon garlic bath. Additional lemon garlic bath can be stored for future use.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 300 calories, 17 g fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, 29 g protein.

From “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown

Lemony Poached Salmon with a Fennel, Onion and Olive Salad

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into 4 portions
Juice of 1 lemon
Water to cover salmon

Salad:
1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel tops
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
4 cups red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 lemon, sliced for garnish

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon capers

Prepare pan for poaching. Place salmon in pan. Add lemon juice and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it flakes with a fork.

Place fennel tops, onion, olives, cucumber and lettuce in a large bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Add capers. pour half of the dressing over the salad greens. Toss. Save the rest of the dressing to use with another salad.

Place salad on plate and top with salmon. Garnish with lemon slices.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 230 calories, 12 g fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 25 protein.

From “The Diabetes Seafood Cookbook” by Barbara Seelig-Brown

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Chefs’ Corner: A Simple Summer Salad from Il Sogno


Celebrate the freshness of summer with a salad featuring the bright flavors of apple, celeriac and fennel. It goes together easily, especially if you have a mandoline to cut the vegetables and the apple to a paper thinness.

At Il Sogno, Andrew Weissman’s Italian restaurant in the Pearl Brewery complex, 200 E. Grayson St., this dish is featured among the array of antipasti.

Fennel, Apple and Celery Root Salad

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced paper thin
Celery root, or celeriac, sliced thin, to taste (see note)
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin with fronds reserved
Olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste
Trace amount of lemon juice, to taste

Note: When slicing the celery root, or celeriac, use about as much as you use apple.

Toss apple, celery root and fennel bulb together in a non-reactive bowl with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt, or more to taste, and a splash of lemon juice. Add some finely minced fennel frond. Serve immediately.

Source: Andrew Weissman/Il Sogno

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Potato and Fennel Soup


Fennel adds a suggestion of sweetness and licorice to this easy-to-make soup.

Potato and Fennel Soup

1 onion, peeled and diced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced (including fronds, chopped), divided use
2 pints vegetable stock
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

[amazon-product]095381520X[/amazon-product]Sweat the onion and potato in the butter over a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add all of the fennel, except for some of the sliced fronds, as well as the stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée in a blender, then stir in the cream gently. Adjust the seasonings and serve with fresh chopped fronds as a garnish.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Adapted from “Avoca Cafe Cookbook” by Hugo Arnold with Leylie Hayes

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Tart Mixes Fennel, Taleggio Cheese and Cardamom


FennelFennel, Taleggio and Cardamom Tart

The cardamom underscores the fennel’s gentle anise flavor in this dreamy tart, while crème fraîche and Taleggio, a rich cow’s-milk cheese from northern Italy, offer tangy creaminess, further enriched by the cream and eggs. This recipe is adapted from Tamasin Day-Lewis’ book, “The Art of the Tart.”

For dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4-5 tablespoons ice water

For filling:
3 medium fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds total)
8 green cardamom pods
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup crème fraîche
3 ounces Taleggio cheese, chilled, rind discarded, cheese cut into 1/3-inch cubes

To make the dough: Blend together flour, butter and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 1/4 cup ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated. Squeeze a small handful of dough; if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork, or pastry will be tough.

Turn dough out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute butter. Gather dough together and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

To make the filling: Remove fennel stalks and fronts. Quarter bulbs lengthwise. Cut out core and cut each quarter crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Crush cardamom pods with side of a large heavy knife. Remove black seeds and discard pods. Crush seeds as much as possible with side of knife, then finely chop.

Combine wine, water, oil, butter, cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet and bring to a simmer. Add fennel and cook, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.

To assemble and bake the tart: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 15-inch round. Fit into an 11- or 11 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Then run rolling pan over edge of pan to trim pastry flush with rim. Lightly prick bottom and sides of shell all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Put on a baking sheet and bake until sides are set and edges are pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a rack.

Whisk together eggs and yolk in a large bowl until foamy. Whisk in milk, cream, crème fraîche, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

[amazon-product]0618610189[/amazon-product]Transfer fennel mixture to shell with a slotted spoon, spreading it evenly. Dot with cheese. Pour custard into shell.

Bake tart until set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes and remove rim before serving.

Cook’s notes:

  • The tart shell can be baked up to 1 day ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.
  • The tart can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then refrigerate, loosely covered. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

From “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl

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Welcome Cool Weather With Roasted Winter Vegetables


RoastedVeggiesRoasted vegetables are delicious any time of year, but especially when it feels comfortable enough to turn on the oven — and leave it on for more than an hour.

To those who make a face at the word “rutabagas,”  I invite you to give this vegetable another chance. It has an earthy but mellow, slightly sweet flavor when baked or boiled.  Add melted butter and crumbled bacon to mashed rutabagas and you have a dish my family always welcomed at the Christmas dinner table.

Fennel bulb adds a gentle flavor of anise to the blend, with garlic and onion offering more substantial tastes to counter the blander flavors of the potatoes.

With some good whole-grain bread and butter, and maybe a wedge of cheddar to slice, this could be the centerpiece of a meat-free meal.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound onions, cut into 1-inch wedges or slices about ½-inch thick
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into slices about ½-inch thick or narrower
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes, OR use cleaned fingerling potatoes, cut into the same size
8 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 tablespoon crumbled, dried sage
1/2 tablespoon crumbled, dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon crumbled, dried oregano
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place very large roasting pan in oven and heat for 15 minutes (or 2 large roasting pans – vegetables should be in single layer).

Remove from oven. Add olive oil to pan. Add vegetables and garlic and gently stir them around in the oil. Put in the oven. After about 45 minutes, add herbs, salt and pepper, to taste, and stir gently around in pan. Take from the oven when the vegetables are tender, after about 1 ¼ hours. Drizzle over lemon juice, sprinkle with fresh parsley, stir vegetables gently and serve.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Adapted from recipeczar.com

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Griffin to Go: In Praise of Clutter


Clutter (1)My work space would drive my mother crazy. It’s a card table with the laptop on it, and it’s filled to overflowing with all manner of cookbooks, references, notebooks, business cards, calendar, etc. None of it is in what you might call order. In fact, to the untrained eye, it looks like Hurricane Ike blew through once again.

I try to keep it as neat as possible, hoping that the anal retentive gene that I have in other areas will someday mutate to this one. But it doesn’t happen. Should I attempt to clean it, I end up getting lost.

I tried that last week and still haven’t found the thank-you notes that I had written but have yet to address, stamp and post. (Sorry, friends; believe me, I’m truly grateful for your kindnesses. The notes are just going to have to wait a few more days.)

Maybe they’re under the DVD cases in the mix, movies from the library that I like to play while I work. That stack is over with the unemployment information that I also keep on hand since I have a tendency to search for jobs at any hour.

There’s a fine filter of bird dander, a few feathers and several kernels of dried corn from my pet cockatoo, who generally sits on my shoulder as I stare at the screen while waiting for inspiration. He’s sitting there now, hoping I’ll go get a snack that he can share with me. (That means more crumbs of some sort, as J.B. is probably a sloppier eater than I am.)

In recent weeks, the collection has spread to the chairs around me. I can see a stack of books, including “101 Sangria & Pitcher Drinks” and the Frugal Gourmet’s tome on Italian cooking on one, a pair of James Beard’s on another. Escoffier is in the chair at my left, along with a book on sake rice wine and an 80-year-old volume on what to do with apples.

Again, no rhyme or reason, yet I know where they all are. So, if a friend asks a question about capers, I can just pick up Gerogeanne Brennan’s “Olives, Anchovies and Capers” on my right and send back a reply. The answer: Fennel, Orange and Caper Salad with your choice of how much of each to include with a simple dressing of olive oil, sherry vinegar and a sprinkling of minced flat-leaf parsley.

The main thrust of my cookbook collection is scattered through the rest of the house, even the bedroom, but as unclassified as they are, I almost always know where to find the volumes on Southern cooking or the volumes devoted to all manner of Spanish cuisine.

You’d never believe any of this if you were invited to the house. The AR party-giver gene takes over, and things are arranged more neatly. I even dust on occasion. There may still be stacks of theater books lining the hall (recently displaced from their home in a shakeup that has yet to be settled), but they’re out of the way and they do let you know that a die-hard bibliophile lives here.

In parting, I’ll leave you with a tasty morsel from the mess, a recipe from Janet Mendel’s “Tapas and More Great Dishes from Spain,” an invaluable little book I picked up more than 10 years ago while visiting the Costa del Sol. It’s a great dish for those of us who love eggs at dinner as well as breakfast.

Baked Eggs, Flamenco Style (Huevos a lo Flamenco)

Olive oil
11 ounces (1 1/3 cups) tomato sauce
3 1/2 ounces ham, chopped
8 eggs
2 tablespoons cooked peas
Strips of roasted red pepper
Slices of Spanish chorizo sausage
8 asparagus tips
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Oil four (or 8) individual oven-proof ramekins and divide the tomato sauce among them. Sprinkle a little chopped ham into each. Break 1 or 2 of the eggs into each ramekin. Sprinkle on a few cooked peas, criss-cross the top with red pepper strips and set a chorizo slice next to the egg. Top with asparagus tips. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley. Bake until whites are set but yolks still liquid, about 8 minutes.

Makes 4 supper servings or 8 tapas servings.

Adapted from “Tapas and More Great Dishes from Spain” by Janet Mendel

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