I am back! But I still don't have a whole lot to talk about. So, I have decided to at least post about my adventures in the kitchen. Tonights dinner was a based on this recipe.
1) Tonight I didn't have any red jalapeño peppers, so I used some dried chiles that I had in the cupboard. It worked reasonably well, but I would prefer the jalapeños myself.
2) Although the instructions say to put the garlic in the skillet first, I would advise sweating the fennel first. Garlic has a tendency to burn too quickly.
3) You can get away with less chicken broth then is listed since you reduce most of it away. I only used 3/4 of cup (it was all I had).
4) If you like garlic, like I do, go with 4-5 cloves instead of 3.
5) If at all possible, buy whole fennel seed, toast it and grind it yourself. You will appreciate the flavor.
6) Although I am sure it would be delicious with pancetta, normal bacon works well. If you use regular bacon, use a little more since it the flavor isn't as powerful as pancetta.
7) I don't cook with fresh fennel very often. It was sweeter than I expected. Also, don't be alarmed by the licorice smell, even if you don't like black licorice. The flavor changes significantly during the cooking process.
I guess that is it for tonight. There will hopefully be a post on blackened steelhead and rice later this weekend.