Monday, November 4, 2013

Carrots with Fennel and Shallots

Inside this nice serving dish I found last spring at an estate sale is a vegetable saute I will eat tonight with a fillet of Grouper that I will pan fry in butter. Though I conceived of this as a side dish, I plan to re-heat it and smother the fish fillet with it.

I also think this delicious side would go well with duck or roast chicken.

To cook this you will need :

1 smallish fennel bulb, diced

2 diced shallots

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced.

1 cup of chicken broth, plus 1/4 cup additional broth if needed.

1/3 stick butter

Several shakes of Herbes de Provence

Sea salt to taste

In a medium saute pan, cook the shallots in the butter over low medium heat until they are golden, and just beginning to lightly brown. Then add the carrots, the fennel, and the chicken broth. Add a few shakes of the herbs, then add sea salt to taste. Salting this is essential for full flavor.*

Turn the heat to medium, and cover the saute pan with its lid slightly askew. The point of this is to reduce the broth while cooking the vegetables. If the broth reduces and the vegetables are not quite soft, add 1/4 cup more of broth, or even water and allow that to reduce down so that the vegetables are moist, but not soupy. Adjust seasoning.

I think this would serve four, if used to top the fish fillet.

*I will quote Marcella Hazan here, from her book "Marcella Says...". This is her philosophy of Salt!

"If you are persuaded that even within the context of a balanced Italian meal the adequate use of salt could affect your life expectancy, you will not want to read any further. I am concerned here solely with the gastronomic importance of salt, and it is huge. Cooking that lacks salt lacks flavor. When it is used judiciously, it is not salt that you taste but the unbuttoned natural flavor that salt, and salt alone, can draw out of ingredients".

Words to take to heart- and true for all meals, and not just Italian.

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